Lesser known climate pollutants get spotlight at Rio+20 as global Coalition builds momentum
15 June 2012, Rio, Brazil - A contest challenging young people around the world to put a little-known group of harmful pollutants at the forefront of the global development agenda was the latest initiative launched today by an emerging international coalition.
Led by governments, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Bank, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants is calling for ideas to close the information gap on harmful substances which are short-lived in the atmosphere.
The Coalition is the first global effort to treat short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) - such as black carbon (or soot), methane and many hydrofluorocarbons - as an urgent and collective challenge.
The outreach contest is open to youth aged between 12 and 25 who want to get creative for a global cause and help spread the word about solutions to short-lived pollution worldwide.
Also highlighted today, during a Coalition side event at the UN Conference for Sustainable Development in Rio, was the compelling scientific case for the benefits associated with emissions reductions and progress in implementing the Coalition's first tranche of focal areas.
UNEP's Executive Director, Achim Steiner, said that interest in the SLCP agenda and in the Coalition's action-oriented work were rapidly gaining momentum.
"Today we're welcoming the addition of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Coalition, bringing the number of partners to 14, and we have several other state and non-state actors who are in the process of formally joining," Mr Steiner said.
"Yesterday, three influential investor groups on climate change called on governments in oil and gas producing nations to review their regulations to minimize fugitive methane emissions from this sector which currently accounts for over 20% of all anthropogenic emissions of methane globally.
"Between them these organizations represent nearly 200 institutional investors with US$20 trillion of assets, and it's a welcome development that they've highlighted how their action is aligned with the Coalition's priorities," he said.
The Rio+20 side event was arranged by the Coalition partners and the Stockholm Environment Institute in conjunction with the Coalition's secretariat which is hosted by UNEP.
The other speakers were UNEP's Chief Scientist, Joseph Alcamo; the US Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, Jonathan Pershing; and Sweden's Environment Ambassador, Annika Markovic.
Revealing details of the contest, Mr Pershing said the overall winner would receive a fully paid trip to a forthcoming Coalition meeting, as well as having his or her concepts implemented. Each category winner will receive a signed photograph by renowned filmmaker, photographer and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
Children and young people between the age of 12 and 25 are eligible to enter the awareness raising contest. The best submissions from each category will be posted on the Coalition's website and used in a range of outreach products and awareness-raising efforts.
The categories in the international awareness raising contest are:
Best tagline or slogan for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.
Best description - "What is a short-lived climate pollutant?"
Best social media proposal for messaging on short-lived climate pollutants, the Coalition's work and for breaking news on issues related to SLCPs.
Best audio-visual product which communicates SLCP impacts and opportunities to address them.
The closing date for entries is Friday 24 August 2012.
Formed in February 2012, the Coalition intends to accelerate and scale-up reductions of SLCPs. Its 14 current partners are: Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, European Commission, Ghana, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden, USA, UNEP, the World Bank and Germany.
Today's outreach event is one of three events the Coalition will help participate in at Rio+20.
See www.unep.org/ccac for more details.
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson / Acting Head of Division of Communications and Public Information +254 733 632 755 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Marks, Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat, +41 794 419 937 or email@example.com
Erik Bratthall, Government of Sweden +46 727 433 157 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Watt, Stockholm Environment Institute, email@example.com