Coalition of the Working - A blog from the CCAC

Author: Keith S. Collins, Communications Consultant, CCAC Secretariat Created: Monday, December 16, 2013 RssIcon
The CCAC's official blog
By CCAC Admin on Friday, April 24, 2015

When considering climate change, chances are you’re thinking of the usual suspect, carbon dioxide. Although carbon dioxide is by far the most important pollutant and most significant cause of global warming, it is not the only culprit. 

Some of the other suspects have long names but short lives. While carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for millennia, short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs)—comprising black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons—have a lifespan somewhere between days and a few years. They don’t get much press, but SLCPs represent up to 45 percent of total warming emissions.  As such, they deserve their own share of the climate-action spotlight.

BSR is keen to shine a light on SLCPs,...
By CCAC Admin on Thursday, February 26, 2015

Air pollution has become part of life for people across large parts of Asia. Thick smog chokes cities and their inhabitants as black exhaust from diesel engines clogs the air on daily commutes. In rural areas, views of mountains and valleys are often obscured by a haze that comes from distant urban and industrial sources as well as from local cooking and agricultural fires. Air pollution contributes to climate change, and it also threatens the health and quality of life of those forced to live with it.

Doctors now find themselves on the front lines of two increasingly connected issues: protecting human health and the earth’s climate. This coming May, at the World Health Organization’s 68th World Health Assembly, countries are poised to adopt the first resolution on air pollution and health. This resolution will help mobilize the health sector to coordinate...
By CCAC Admin on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It seems fitting that NASA scientists announced that 2014 was the hottest year on record immediately before Prime Minister Modi and President Obama meet in India next week. Because these two leaders have a unique opportunity to set the world on a path to address more than half of the projected global warming through mid-century, a critical period for avoiding irreversible impacts.

To do this, the leaders need to extend the climate and energy agreement they reached last September, and add a program to reduce black carbon soot, methane, and ground-level ozone, the main component of urban smog. Their earlier agreement included using the Montreal Protocol to cut hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), used as refrigerants and for insulating foams. During next week's...
By CCAC Admin on Sunday, December 14, 2014

Climate change cannot be solved without leadership from heads of government, without immediate mitigation of near-term warming, and without cutting short-lived climate pollutants to complement the UN climate agreement.

1. Climate change cannot be solved by ministers alone, but requires leadership from heads of government. 

By moving climate to the leader level over the past 18 months, President Obama changed the "climate" of the climate change negotiations. His effort started with his first meeting with President Xi of China in Sunnylands, California last June, where the two biggest climate polluters reached two agreements: the first to cooperate on threats from North Korea, the second to cooperate to reduce super greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. President Obama followed this up with other bilateral agreements on HFCs with President...
By CCAC Admin on Friday, October 17, 2014
The Secretary-General’s Climate Summit has put the global conversation on climate change right to where it belongs – centre stage.

The bold commitments made by governments, investment institutions, global corporations, indigenous peoples and civil society organizations clearly demonstrate that reaching a meaningful and impactful climate agreement in Paris 2015 is not elusive. It is tangible, doable and necessary.

Important actions are being taken all around the world; now we need to scale them up substantially, and back them with firm, binding commitments.

China pledged to take firm action, with Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli affirming that China would reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 2020.

The United States voiced its support for an ambitious agreement that is commensurate with the scale of the challenge.

By CCAC Admin on Friday, October 10, 2014
The meeting was chaired by the Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek and United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner. This was Minister Ek´s last meeting in CCAC, since her government lost in the Swedish parliamentary election a week before the meeting

The UN Climate Summit was an amazing phenomenon. Over 400,000 people marched through the city on Sunday September 21 to urge world leaders to take climate change seriously. Two days later some 100 Heads of State and Heads of Government met under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's leadership to discuss the way forward and what steps can be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a fossil-free society.

The opening of the meeting was engaging. "My job is to pretend,” said actor Leonardo Di Caprio to the world leaders, “but it is not your job. You cannot continue to pretend climate change does not exist." Al...
By CCAC Admin on Friday, October 10, 2014
As Chair of the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel, I am writing this comment to address any misconception of the results of the recent Hodnebrog et al. study, published in Nature Communications, due to recent reporting by the Guardian.

Black carbon is a powerful climate forcer and air pollutant, and an important target for climate protection, public and ecological health, and sustainable development. However, a recent article by the Guardian titled “Climate Impact of Black Carbon Severely Overestimated,” has mischaracterized the results of the Hodnebrog study, calling into question the climate impact of this dangerous pollutant. The article’s conclusions were based on extremely selective reporting on the...
By CCAC Admin on Friday, September 19, 2014
In the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, home to 12 million people, less than half the garbage is formally collected. The rest is dumped in open spaces, particularly in slums.

The piles of rubbish create a stench, attract rodents and clog drains. Liquids leach into the groundwater. Often the trash is burned, creating thick smoke.

In Cali, Colombia, virtually all the waste is collected, and most goes into a sanitary landfill. Yet of the roughly 600,000 tonnes of material disposed of each year, only about 17 percent is recycled. Around half the recycling is done by informal waste-pickers, some of the city’s poorest and most vulnerable people.

Meanwhile in Stockholm, Sweden, less than 1 percent of trash goes to landfills. More than half is turned into energy – incinerated or used to produce biogas, which fuels city buses and garbage trucks. A third is recycled, and about one sixth is composted or anaerobically digested.

This is an exciting time for climate action. U.N....
By CCAC Admin on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
In early 2014 the Government of Bangladesh gave its brick kiln owners an ultimatum: Convert to clean, modern technologies for brick production by July or face tough legal action.

Brick kilns are one of the major sources of black carbon pollution in the world. In Bangladesh, black carbon from the nearly 7,000 kilns in the country was hurting pollination for the vast mango crop in the north, as well as the rice crop. It was harming human health. And it contributed to the climate change that has been raising average temperatures in the country, particularly over the last two decades. Kilns in Bangladesh produce some 20 billion bricks every year, but about 4,000 of the kilns used old and polluting technologies, and almost all used coal as a fuel.

Bangladesh’s stand against pollution from the brick kiln industry began with the personal commitment of one of the co-authors of this blog post, Anwar Hossain Manju, to do something about the problem.  He saw first-hand how pollution...
By CCAC Admin on Friday, September 12, 2014
OK, that's not literally a latte diesel-machiatto. But figuratively, you bet it is. Nearly everything you use or consume -- the coffee at your elbow, the table it's sitting on, the smart device you're reading this on, the eyeglasses you're wearing, the car you drove to get to the coffee shop -- was carried to you on a truck, and the chances are nearly 100 percent that that truck ran on diesel fuel. Some part of the price you paid for that stuff went to pay for the cost of that fuel, and not a small part, either: transportation accounts for on the order of 10 percent of the commercial cost of most products.

In a manner of speaking, that coffee, that smartphone, that table represent the diesel fuel that transported them -- as well as the climate pollutants and air pollutants released when that fuel was burned. The movement of freight by heavy-duty diesel vehicles produces about 20 percent of global emissions of black carbon, a climate pollutant second only in importance to carbon dioxide....