Climate and Clean Air Coalition Issues New Version of Popular Publication “Time to Act”

Text/HTML

Urgent need to reduce short-lived climate pollutants stressed through new publication with explanatory graphics

Nairobi, 24 June 2014 – Recognizing the growing awareness of air pollution and its effects on health and climate change, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition has produced a new booklet Time to Act to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants. This new publication, launched today at the first UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, explains short-lived climate pollutants, including their nature, sources and effects, in easy to understand prose with highly informative graphics.  It highlights their relevance to near term climate change, air pollution, public health, and food and energy security.  It translates latest scientific findings, building on the first UNEP report Near-Term Climate Protection And Clean Air Benefits (2011) based on reviews by the Coalition’s Scientific Advisory Panel of environmental, economic, energy, policy and health experts of this critical issue.

As Time to Act explains, “Short-lived climate pollutants are everywhere in our lives. They are impacting the climate system and the quality of our air. It is time to act against these pollutants and deliver near term and multiple benefits for human well-being.”

"This new edition of 'Time to Act' is a much-needed publication," said Helena Molin Valdes, Head of the CCAC Secretariat. "It takes the complex science around short-lived climate pollutants and translates it into clear language without sacrificing accuracy. Recent scientific assessments coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners of the Coalition have identified a number of “win-win” measures for near term climate protection and clean air benefits. Fast uptake of these cost-effective and readily available measures, which target emissions of SLCPs in key sectors, could bring rapid and multiple benefits for human well-being.”

SLCPs are agents that have a relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere - a few days to a few decades - but also a warming influence on climate as well as, in many cases, detrimental impacts on human health, agriculture and ecosystems. The CCAC has produced Time to Act as a resource for governments, NGOs and other public and private organizations to understand and explain the problem and help develop solutions.

“Large-scale implementation of these measures by 2030 would likely prevent 2.4 (0.7 -4.6) million premature deaths from outdoor air pollution annually and avoid annual crop yield losses of over 50 (30-35) million tons, which represents an increase of a up to 4% of the total annual global crop production. Implementation could also slow down the warming expected by 2050 by about 0.5°C  - and by about 0.7°C in the Arctic by 2040 - and could have significant regional climate benefits in sensitive regions of the world, reducing disruption of rainfall patterns and slowing the melting of some glaciers. Action to reduce the climate impacts of HFCs, such as using hydrocarbon refrigerants in domestic refrigerators, freezers and small air conditioning units, could deliver additional near term climate change mitigation benefits.”

Time to Act is available in a colorful printed version, e-book and e-book app formats. The booklet’s explanatory graphics can also be downloaded separately for use in presentations and other communication materials.

The CCAC itself conducts a number of high impact initiatives aimed at catalyzing rapid action on short-lived climate pollutants where they appear, from transportation and energy production, to agriculture and municipal solid waste. The Coalition recently put an additional $10 million into expanding its initiative work.

The CCAC is a voluntary partnership of more than 90 governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, the environmental community, and other members of civil society. The Coalition is government-led and highly cooperative among multiple stakeholders.

For more information on the CCAC, please see www.unep.org/ccac or contact the CCAC Secretariat at ccac_secretariat@unep.org.