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Growing Enthusiasm for Reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutant for Fast Climate Mitigation


Ministers meet in Doha on margins of UN climate talks

Doha, Qatar 6 December 2012 – 25 Ministers met today in a high-level assembly in a small room on the side of the UNFCCC negotiations in Doha, and along with representatives from UNEP the World Bank, and several NGOs, pledged to increase their scale of action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). Success in reducing SLCPs including black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and HFCs at the global level can cut the rate of global warming in half for the next 40 years and by two-thirds in the Arctic.

The Coalition pledged to keep the spirit and enthusiasm of the founding group, and the speed of action that has been achieved during the first ten months. The Coalition also welcomed six new country partners. Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, the Maldives, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Korea bring the number of partners in the CCAC to almost 50. The Coalition was originally founded by six countries in February 2012.

"The Coalition's success will help overcome some the disappointment and despair many here are feeling at the pace of climate protection--despair that we do not have the collective wisdom nor the skill to protect our climate," said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD).

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 the global temperature at or below 2°C above preindustrial 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. Fast action on black carbon and methane have the potential to slow a global temperature rise by up to 0.5°C by 2050, reduce air pollution-related deaths by as much as 2.4 million, and crop losses by around 30 million tonnes annually.

“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.

"The Coalition's success will create more success; success truly breeds success” Zaelke added. “Those gathered in the small room in Doha are creating the sense of urgent optimism the world needs to solve all of the climate change, including the CO2 part, which all recognize is the largest cause of climate change and essential to aggressively address."

The UNEP Press Release is here.

IGSD’s Primer on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants is here.

Former President Bill Clinton addresses SLCPs in video remarks at the C40 event at Rio+20 here.