Dozens of Ministers of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Celebrate First Successes and Enhance Actions

Warsaw, Poland, 21 November, 2013 – Ministers and other leaders of 42 countries and organizations of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) came together to celebrate first successes and to enhance further action on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).  The Coalition’s 10 action-oriented initiatives are starting to tackle some of the leading causes of global near-term climate change, premature death, and crop damage. 

  • In Warsaw, ministers celebrated the Coalition’s most recent successes across the highest-emitting sectors, including: Launching a Green Freight Call to Action, a year-long endeavor to bring together countries and companies around the world to put in place common-sense strategies to reduce energy use and black carbon emissions from heavy-duty freight around the world;
  • Working with 20 cities to implement new municipal solid waste action plans, launching city-exchange mentoring programs and a virtual knowledge platform;
  • Developing an Oil and Gas Methane Partnership to work with multinational energy companies to tackle methane emissions;
  • Launching and funding an agriculture initiative to help reduce open burning of agricultural wastes and methane emissions from livestock manure;
  • Engaging Bangladesh, Chile, Peru, Vietnam and ASEAN countries to create black carbon inventories, low sulfur fuel targets and heavy-duty diesel task forces and coalitions;
  • Making progress towards launching a pay-for-performance facility to stimulate initial phase financing for shovel-ready methane-reducing projects, including some preliminary pledging, to stimulate financing for short-lived climate pollutant projects; and
  • Working with six countries to create national-level inventories of HFCs, with a case study of non-HFC refrigeration in the Maldives about to begin.

The CCAC was launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and six countries on February 16, 2012, and has since grown to 75 partners. The CCAC aims to catalyze rapid reductions in short-lived climate pollutants.  CCAC Ministers last met in Oslo in September, agreeing on ambitious priorities for advancing SLCP reductions globally (see the Oslo Communiqué).


MINISTERIAL AND HIGH-LEVEL QUOTES

CLIMATE AND CLEAN AIR COALITION
The growth in support for the CCAC by countries and by institutions is now being matched by a growth in funding and projects across the range of pollutants covered by the coalition. The triple issues of food security, clean air and climate change distilled in this initiative are clearly compelling and motivating for many countries. Many keys will be needed to unlock a sustainable future--the CCAC is one such instrument.
Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director
We are proud that Poland is a member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants – CCAC. We consider it an important forum for action and exchange of knowledge and experiences related to the reduction of pollutants other than carbon dioxide, which threaten human health or contribute to poor harvests. Air protection and improvement of air quality are Polish priorities; therefore, I am pleased that the discussion about short-lived climate pollutants – which are the focus of the Coalition's activity – accompanies the COP19/CMP9 Climate Summit. Poland has been involved in actions aimed at improving air quality for years, and has been implementing programmes aimed at reducing emissions, including short-lived climate pollutants. We implement EU regulations, raise air quality standards across the country, and want to participate in similar initiatives worldwide. We are going to continue our actions, and I believe that our involvement in the forum will be a valuable experience to Poland and other members of the Coalition.
Beata Jaczewska, Under Secretary of State and Minister for the Environment, Poland
It is important for Norway that the Coalition has decided to strengthen its efforts on clean air," she said, "since air pollution is a serious health threat, taking millions of lives every year. Prompt action is critical, so I urge the world’s health community, including health ministers, health agencies, funds and partnerships, to join us in the global effort to reduce emissions of indoor and outdoor air pollution and thereby save lives.
Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway
Canada is taking an active leadership role in international climate change efforts. Through collaborative efforts like the Green Freight Call to Action, which Canada is co-leading, I am optimistic that the Climate and Clean Air Coalition can marshal global action in a way that brings direct benefits to people around the world.
Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Canada
The pilot pay-for-performance facility for methane can have a large impact on emission reductions. Sweden is prepared to contribute a fair share to the facility, and we want to see it up and running as soon as possible.
Lena Ek, Minister of the Environment, Sweden
It is encouraging to see such a wide range of climate leaders around the table. CCAC partners, which include developed and developing countries, are taking real action now to achieve near-term climate benefits, enhance air quality, and improve crop yields. We have a range of initiatives that hold meaningful promise, and we are moving forward, all in a way that fully complements the aggressive action we all need to take on CO2.
Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change, USA
While we must continue to aggressively reduce CO2 emissions, efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon and methane can have an immediate effect on slowing warming. At the same time, such action can reap huge health, agriculture and other development benefits for the poorest and most vulnerable. Coalitions for action on SLCPs outside the UN climate convention, such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, help to demonstrate that success is possible and build confidence for advancing action in the negotiations.
Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank
Many climate protection efforts talk about what should be done, but the CCAC just does it. The CCAC's fast-action approach is a model the world needs to pay close attention to.
Romina Picolotti, former Secretary of the Environment for Argentina and President of the Centre for Human Rights and Environment.
National green freight programs can bring financial savings for companies and environmental benefits for society. This is especially true for developing countries, which can tap into green freight technologies and strategies and make their freight sectors more competitive while they reduce emissions.
Sophie Punte, Executive Director of the Smart Freight Center

FACT SHEET

UPDATES ON THE CLIMATE AND CLEAN AIR COALITION (CCAC)

Health, Air Pollution and Climate Change: Tobacco use causes 6.2 million deaths, while indoor and outdoor air pollution together is linked to the deaths of 6.7 million people globally.  The CCAC is convening countries, organizations, and civil society to define a global strategy to tackle the largest sources of this problem. Heading towards the next World Health Assembly in 2014, CCAC Partners are working to build support for an international resolution expressing the urgent need to raise awareness and address short-lived climate pollutants to save lives.

Green Freight: Building an International Movement:  The movement of freight is a major and rapidly increasing contributor of black carbon and carbon dioxide emissions.  The CCAC issued a Green Freight Call to Action as part of CCAC’s effort to improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of freight operations worldwide.  The CCAC is inviting government policy makers, private sector shippers and cargo owners, their freight transportation carriers, third party logistics companies, and others to join the effort to develop and launch a Global Green Freight Action Plan in 2014.

Oil and Gas Methane Partnership The High Level Assembly supported the launch of the CCAC Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, aiming to occur in 2014, bringing together governments and major oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions from venting, leakage, and flaring from their global operations. The oil and gas sector provides more than 20 percent of global man-made methane emissions, second only to agriculture. The CCAC Oil and Gas Methane Partnership has been developed in consultation with companies and IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues.

Financing the Mitigation of SLCPs.  CCAC Partners expressed their support for the rapid launch of a pilot pay-for-performance facility to stimulate shovel-ready methane-reducing projects, including some preliminary pledging. The World Bank is working with CCAC Partners to set up the facility.  The Assembly also discussed the upcoming launch of the Coalition’s Black Carbon Finance Study Group.  Partners continue to engage regional development banks and the Global Environment Facility in mainstreaming SLCP mitigation into their portfolios, building on the leadership of the World Bank.
Encouraging HFC Alternative Technology and Standards.  CCAC Partners are working to reduce emissions of HFCs and to ensure that climate-friendly HFC alternatives are made available globally. A global phasedown of HFCs could head off as much as the equivalent of 90 GT of CO2.  Through its initiative on HFCs, the Coalition has helped six countries conduct inventories and organized major gatherings of governments, private sector and other key stakeholders to promote alternatives to high global warming potential HFCs.

Building Support to Tackle Municipal Solid Waste.  The CCAC developed a technical assistance and city-exchange program to help cities reduce methane and black carbon emissions from the municipal solid waste sector.  Landfills are the third largest source of global anthropogenic methane emissions, and open garbage burning emits black carbon and other pollutants, including dioxin emissions, a major health concern. The initiative is already engaging several dozen cities representing every region in the world, and two global city networks have already joined the Coalition—ICLEI and C40.
As Yan Peng, East Asia Regional Director for the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, noted, “Cities have an important role to play in reducing SLCP emissions.”

Addressing Issues of Black Carbon and Methane from Agriculture. The Coalition recently launched an initiative on agriculture and approved $2.4 million to scale up action to reduce open burning of agricultural wastes, which produces black carbon, and to reduce methane emissions from livestock manure. Livestock is responsible for approximately 31 percent of global methane emissions.  The CCAC called on farmers, policymakers and the agriculture industry to integrate manure management practices into livestock systems and capture methane as an energy source, thereby helping to enhance food security and sustainable development.

Supporting National Planning for Action on SLCPs (SNAP).  Governments worldwide are realizing the importance of tackling SLCPs and are looking for guidance as to how to do it. The CCAC has created an initiative to promote national planning for action on SLCPs and is actively supporting increased capacity in participating countries to integrate SLCP mitigation into their national policies. A CCAC Emissions Scenario, Benefits Calculator toolkit, and SNAP Guidance Document have been released.