Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

IGSD Designated NGO Lead on Steering Committee of Landmark Climate and Clean Air Coalition To Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

Washington DC, 27 August 2012 – The Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, long a champion of efforts to reduce HFCs, black carbon, methane, and tropospheric ozone, has joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC). The Institute has been elected to serve as the NGO representative on the Coalition’s Steering Committee, while UNEP will represent Inter- Governmental Organizations.

“The Coalition has the potential to be the catalyst for cutting the rate of climate change in half for the next 30 to 40 years, while saving millions of lives a year and preventing significant crop losses,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD). “IGSD is fully committed to helping the Coalition achieve these planet-saving goals.”

For the past several years, IGSD has been spearheading national, regional, and international strategies to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), as part of a suite of fast-action strategies that can be started in the next two to three years, be substantially implemented in ten years, and produce a response in the climate system on a timescale of decades, using existing legal and institutional mechanisms whenever feasible.

IGSD’s strategies are described in a paper co-authored with Nobel Laureate Mario Molina in the PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, Molina M., Zaelke D., Sarma K.M., Andersen S.O.,

Ramanathan V., Reducing abrupt climate change risk using the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions (2009).

Fast-action strategies to reduce SLCPs combined with necessary reductions in carbon dioxide are essential for slowing already accelerating extreme weather events in the near-term, such as the current record-breaking droughts in the South Central United States, while maintaining global temperature at or below 2°C above pre- industrial levels through the end of the century. Beyond the 2°C threshold, global temperature increases present the risk of major and perhaps catastrophic climate impacts, including devastating sea-level rise and punishing storm surges, as well as even more severe and frequent droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events.

“Reducing these climate pollutants not only harmonizes development and climate concerns but it is also critical for protecting the world’s most vulnerable regions and people, particularly women and children, from the worst impacts of climate change,” stated Romina Picolotti, former Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development for Argentina and first NGO representative to the CCAC Steering Committee. “This ground-breaking coalition has the potential to catalyze fast action to help the people who need it the most, and IGSD is honored to represent the NGOs partners in this endeavor.”

The Coalition’s Secretariat is housed by UNEP in its Paris office and supported by initial funding from the US, Canada, Sweden and Norway. The World Bank calculates that they already have $12 billion in their existing portfolio contributing to the Coalition’s goals, and the G8 leaders in May commissioned the Bank to prepare a report on ways to integrate reductions of these short-lived climate pollutants into their activities and to assess funding options for methane reduction. The Coalition has approved five initial fast-action initiatives: reducing methane from urban landfills; reducing emissions from brick kilns; reducing black carbon emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles and engines; promoting alternatives to HFCs; and reducing emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Climate & Clean Air Coalition’s web site is here.