World Economic Forum Session on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants Draws International Leaders

Major Investment Groups Urge Oil and Gas Companies To Join CCAC Methane Partnership

Davos, 24 January 2014 – Leaders from business, government, civil society and the United Nations gathered today in a session in Davos at the World Economic Forum to discuss short-lived climate pollutants and how to gather force to reduce their emissions.

Seen as part of the lead-up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September, the session focused on ways to reduce two major climate pollutants, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). 

The session was particularly timely given the recent statement by three leading investment groups encouraging aggressive action against methane through the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and its Oil and Gas Methane Partnership. The Methane Partnership encourages high-level political and corporate support for reduction of methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

The investment groups—the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) and the Investors Group on Climate Change (IGCC)—see climate change as having “major negative impacts on the global economy and the long-term financial performance of our investments.” Together the groups manage $20 trillion in assets and represent more than 200 institutional investors.

The groups said in their statement, “We believe that participation in the CCAC Oil and Gas Methane Partnership will help companies to reduce their emissions, improve the efficiency of company operations and enhance the role and credibility of natural gas as a bridge to a low carbon future.” 

Methane emissions caused by human activities are one of the most significant drivers of climate change. Methane is a short-lived climate pollutant and a powerful greenhouse gas with an atmospheric lifetime of approximately 12 years. It is at least 84 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year time horizon and is responsible for more than 15% of global greenhouse emissions. The International Energy Agency estimates that reducing methane releases from upstream oil and gas operations can deliver nearly 20% of the emissions reductions required for a 2-degree Celsius path.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, the environmental community, and other members of civil society. The Coalition is government-led but is highly cooperative and voluntary. Short-lived climate pollutants 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.

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