Monday, June 11, 2012

Clinton Working to Cut Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

During her visit to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is continuing her efforts to cut short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) and launching an awareness campaign to protect the Arctic. Short-lived climate pollutants are the low hanging fruit of greenhouse gas emissions. According to UNEP and the World Meteorological Organization, eradicating them with existing technologies could cut the rate of global warming in half for the next 30 to 40 years and in the Arctic by two-thirds.

Clinton supports the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants which includes methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons. Secretary Clinton launched the Coalition in February and the leaders of the G8 joined in May.

Together SLCPs contribute almost half (40%) of climate warming, black carbon on its own may be responsible for half of the warming in the Arctic. By preventing SLCPs emissions can save 2.5 million lives per year, increase crop yields and food security. Climate change threatens the future of the Arctic and the globe. Without immediate and substantial mitigation efforts the polar ice will keep melting, sea levels will keep rising.

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme indicates that sea levels could rise 5 feet within the next century.

Perhaps most alarming is the fact that ongoing warming will release huge quantities of methane from the ocean floor, which could lead to runaway climate change.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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