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Coalition of 96 Partners Steps Up Ambition for Climate Action

New York, 23 September 2014 - Partners in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants approved five ambitious efforts Monday to present at the UN Climate Summit, aiming to catalyse action on emissions from agriculture, freight, oil and gas production, and municipal solid waste, and to phase down high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling and refrigeration.

Launched in 2012 by seven partners, CCAC is the only global forum dedicated to reducing short-lived climate pollutants at the source. SLCPs are substances that remain in the atmosphere for a relatively short time, from a few days to 15 years, but are powerful drivers of near-term atmospheric warming.

Scientific research shows that proven measures to reduce SLCPs - in particular, methane, black carbon (soot) and some HFCs - could, if widely implemented, reduce global warming by 0.6°C by 2050, save more than 2 million lives, and achieve multiple development benefits.

"With climate impacts already occurring and increasing, CCAC has a vital role to play in mobilizing action to reduce global warming in the next decades. Curbing carbon dioxide emissions is crucial for reducing long-term climate risk, but addressing short-lived climate pollutants - the focus of this Coalition - is an important complement to those efforts. The two go hand in hand," said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

In its first two years, CCAC has launched 10 initiatives to tackle SLCP emissions from a wide range of sources, raise awareness of SLCPs, and help countries develop their own plans and actions to tackle these pollutants.

"We launched CCAC as a 'coalition of the working' to achieve real results on the ground, and it is thrilling to see how far we've come in just over two years," said Lena Ek, Sweden's Minister of Environment and one of the founders of CCAC. "We hope that as we share our successes and ambitions at the UN Climate Summit, many more will be inspired to join our efforts."

On Monday, partners approved the funding of Phase I of an 11th initiative, to raise awareness of SLCPs' impact on health in urban areas.

The Coalition's activities at the UN Climate Summit aim to scale-up and build on all this work. Ministers and heads of partner organizations approved the five action plans at CCAC's fifth High-Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened with a message expressing his support for the Coalition's multi-stakeholder approach.

"You are helping to accelerate political momentum on climate change and catalyse ambitious action on the ground," he said. "The coalitions you have built among the private sector, finance, civil society, research and other institutions can help to build a new world of collaboration and high standards. The results of your actions can have an immediate impact: cleaner industries; cleaner engines and oil and gas production; cleaner recycling and waste processing; cleaner brick kilns and cookstoves; and cleaner urban air."

Growing membership, higher ambition

Also at the High-Level Assembly, CCAC partners agreed to extend the Coalition's mandate by to 2022, so we can make a deeper impact on SLCP emissions around the world. They also welcomed the Republic of Guinea, Kenya and Paraguay as new members, which brings total membership to 96, including 43 countries and 53 international, scientific and trade organizations.

Partners also accepted pledges by the European Commission and Norway that will boost the Coalition's Trust Fund to almost $56 million. In addition, Japan pledged $2.5 million for activities in Asia. CCAC also installed new co-chairs: Marcelo Mena Carrasco, Chile's Vice-Minister of Environment, and Hanne Inger Bjurstrøm, Climate Envoy for Norway. They replace Annika Markovic, Sweden's Ambassador to the OECD and UNESCO, and Bahijjahtu Abubakar, Coordinator for Renewable Energy of Nigeria's Ministry of Environment.

"In Chile, we have recognized the value of climate actions that bring immediate benefits, such as tackling emissions from diesel and wood burning," Mena Carrasco said. "We have merged our climate and air quality departments, and we have a new air pollution plan for Santiago that addresses both particulate matter and carbon dioxide. We firmly believe in CCAC and are excited to take a leadership role. Working together, we can share best practices, learn from one another, and make a real impact."

New science on kerosene lamps

As part of the High-Level Assembly, and based on a scientific brief by CCAC's Scientific Advisory Panel, partners recognised the potential benefits of reducing the use of kerosene lamps - the main source of lighting for many of the billions of people who lack electricity or have only limited access to it. Use of kerosene lamps is expensive, energy-inefficient and dirty, and can burn or poison family members. Kerosene lamps produce about 6% of manmade black carbon emissions. But cost-effective solutions are readily available, such as solar lanterns and fluorescent or LED lighting run on solar powered grids and mini-grids.

"There is strong evidence that replacing kerosene lamps would have large benefits for the climate, air quality and development," said Drew Shindell, chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel and a professor at Duke University. The High-Level Assembly agreed to consider ways to mobilize action to address this important issue.

Note to editors: CCAC will host a press conference at 1:30pm in Media Briefing Room S-237 to discuss its activities and its submissions to the UN Climate Summit. A second press conference, at 5pm in Room S-237, will focus on the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership.

Media contacts:

Marion Davis (in New York)

Mobile: +1 781-654-5160; Skype: marion.s.davis


Keith Collins (in Geneva)

Mobile: +41 76 703 53 33


About CCAC:

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants is a voluntary global partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, business, scientific institutions and civil society committed to catalysing concrete, substantial action to reduce SLCPs. The Coalition works through collaborative initiatives to raise awareness, mobilize resources and lead transformative projects in key sectors, with expert support from a Scientific Advisory Panel. The emphasis is on voluntary commitments and on action. Leadership is provided by a High-Level Assembly. To learn more, visit http://www.unep.org/ccac.

About SLCPs

Short-lived climate pollutants are substances that contribute to global warming but stay in the atmosphere for a relatively short time - from a few days to about 15 years. Many are powerful air pollutants with negative effects on respiratory and cardiovascular health; some also diminish crop yields. The main SLCPs are black carbon (soot) and methane, which are the most important contributors to climate change after CO2. Some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) also have important climate impacts.

Statements about CCAC from key partners:

"Canada is proud to be a part of this dynamic and growing [partnership. The highly collaborative, action-oriented initiatives of the Coalition highlight the potential to unite governments, private industry, and non-government organizations to make real-world progress on reducing short-lived climate pollutants." - Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern

Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council

"One of the most valuable aspects of this Coalition is that it is bringing together developing countries to take the lead in reducing emissions, learning together and raising each other's ambition. Tackling SLCPs has great benefits for our countries. The impact on health alone makes these actions compelling, but it's clear that there are also great opportunities for sectoral development. It has been a pleasure to co-chair CCAC, and I plan to remain deeply engaged in this excellent partnership." - Bahijjahtu Abubakar, Coordinator for Renewable Energy, Nigeria Ministry of Environment.

"This Coalition is all about action, and it has great potential to make substantial, fast contributions to emission reductions through its initiatives. The measures being pursued through CCAC also offer great opportunities for "win-wins", combining emission reductions with health and other benefits. Working with the private sector is key. The Oil and Gas Methane Partnership being launched during the UN Climate Summit, which includes Norway's Statoil, is an excellent example of this." - Hanne Inger Bjurstrøm, Climate Envoy for Norway

"We are pleased to support efforts to negotiate an HFC phasedown and to also promote complementary efforts to reduce HFC emissions. Industry is responding to the technology challenge to eliminate ozone-depleting substances by developing a range of alternatives and promoting technology choice. The Montreal Protocol represents the best opportunity to address and encourage introduction of low-GWP ODS substitutes on a global basis." - Kevin Fay, Executive Director, International Climate Change Partnership

and Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy

"Companies are always looking for ways to save fuel and reduce cost. Lack of knowledge and global standards often prevents them from implementing smart technologies and other measures. National green freight programs are a critical piece of the puzzle to make freight smarter. The CCAC Green Freight Initiative is an important step towards a more efficient and environmentally sustainable global freight sector." - Sophie Punte, Executive Director, Smart Freight Centre

"I am pleased that the Coalition has endorsed a market-based approach for reducing black carbon and short-lived climate pollutants from the combustion of solid fuels for cooking. Clean cooking solutions - both clean cookstoves and fuels - represent one of the most cost-effective mechanisms for addressing climate change while delivering health, environmental, and gender co-benefits." - Radha Muthiah, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Catalysing global action through 11 CCAC initiatives

CCAC takes action through partner-led initiatives that provide strategic guidance for SLCP action in a specific sector or area, responding to priority areas identified by the partners and based on the 16 key measures identified a 2011 UNEP Synthesis Report as most impactful and cost-effective.

Below are some highlights of results achieved in the last year:

  • The Agriculture Initiative developed a manure management framework, with a set of predefined questionnaires for coherent information collection worldwide. A Global Open Burning Mapping was developed, using region-specific methodologies and showing monthly regional and national burning.

  • The Bricks Initiative has been operationalizing the Policy and Advocacy Networks for South Asia and the Latin American and the Caribbean region. Training manuals for both regions, including a report on effective policies, brick kiln design, SLCP emission measurement were developed. A set of posters, factsheets, and other communication materials were produced. Reports on brick production and public policies in five countries - Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Nigeria - are being finalized.

  • Under the Clean Cooking and Domestic Heating Initiative, a special tranche of pre-investment grant funding in support of SLCP reduction action were developed under the Spark Fund of the Global Alliance on Clean Cookstoves. Two grantees in Tanzania and Nigeria are receiving financial support for technology and product upgrades and scale up.

  • Under the Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicle and Engines Initiative, regional and national regulatory processes were supported to develop stringent fuel quality and vehicle emission standards. Countries supported include: Burundi, China, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. A White Paper on Best Practices in Reducing Emissions through Vehicle Replacement Programmes was developed, to help countries implement vehicle scrappage schemes.

  • The HFC Initiative completed national level inventories in Chile, Colombia and Indonesia. Inventories for Bangladesh, Ghana and Nigeria are nearing completion. Five Case Studies demonstrating technology feasible, cost savings and efficiency gains in the commercial refrigeration sector were produced. 10,000 hours of training, benefitting over 900 participants were conducted. A feasibility study for District cooling in Male / Maldives is underway. A knowledge platform is under construction, and interactive village to provide information on HFC consumption and alternatives is online.

  • The Oil and Gas Initiative garnered high level support and private sector buy in to create an Oil and Gas Methane Partnership.

  • The Waste Initiative completed city baseline assessments of the waste situation in 19 cities around the world, completed pre-feasibility studies in 7 cities, and set up a city exchange programme to facilitate peer-to-peer learning. A toolkit, helping cities and national governments to quantify SLCP emissions from the waste sector is being finalised.

  • The Finance Initiative has started the work of the Black Carbon Finance Study Group.

  • The Regional Assessment Initiative is making good progress on the Regional Assessment for the Latin American and Caribbean region.

  • The SNAP Initiative produced national plans in four countries - Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana and Mexico. The SNAP toolkit was further refined, incorporating lessons learned from Phase I of SNAP. An Institutional Strengthening Module has been developed, and is being rolled out in 14 countries: Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Liberia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru and Togo.

  • The work of the Urban Health Initiative is just starting, with a scoping phase.