The 2017-2018 Climate and Clean Air Coalition Annual Report

Over the past year the Coalition has increased high-level engagement and support to country efforts to enhance climate and air quality strategies

The 2017 to 2018 year was an exciting and formative one for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. Years of efforts are now delivering results in many countries and new reports by the Coalition, UN Environment, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) not only show the increased need, relevance, and benefits of reducing short-lived climate pollutants, but also provide the solutions to do so.    

The latest Climate and Clean Air Coalition Annual Report outlines these and other developments and presents key results from each of the Coalition’s 11 initiatives for the year.

In their introduction, Coalition Co-Chairs, Alice Akinyi Kaudia, Former Environment Secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and Charles Haines*, Senior Policy Advisor at Environment and Climate Change Canada, write the Coalition has done much to build the groundwork to deliver reductions in methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and black carbon.

“Efforts by Coalition partners, scientists and experts to increase capacity, strengthen institutions, produce new knowledge and raise awareness have started to deliver transformative laws and policies, and climate friendly innovations in several of our initiatives,” they wrote. “Our investments are starting to pay off.”

The Co-Chairs also highlighted the important role that short-lived climate pollutants play in the global fight against climate change saying the IPCC’s special report Global Warming of 1.5°C”, strengthened the CCAC’s rationale for promoting fast action, quick results and multiple benefits.

“We have a little more than a decade to make substantial changes if we are to keep warming to a temperature target of 1.5˚C. The special report shows that there is no scenario that gets us to the target without fast action on ALL climate forcers, including short-lived climate pollutants, along with deep and significant cuts to carbon dioxide.”

The annual report highlights country actions being taken to reduce short-lived climate pollutants and the benefits of these action over time. Actions are taking place at local, national, regional and international scales.

The benefits of these actions can also support countries’ national development and climate goals. Using the recently released multiple benefits pathway framework, Ghana was able to show that by implementing its nationally determined contributions along with additional short-lived climate pollutant measures it could prevent up to 2,560 premature deaths per year, reduce annual crop losses by 40%, and reduce its contribution to global warming by 55% by 2030.

The development of the ‘Pathway Tool’ was an important deliverable of the 2017-2018 year and will help countries calculate the multiple benefits of action and help integrate efforts to reduce all climate forcing air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. This will help rapidly reduce the rate of warming in the near-term, prevent millions of premature deaths from air pollution, protect against dangerous climate feedback loops, and contribute to the sustainable development goals.

The science underpinning the Coalition’s work was also added to this year. The Coalition’s Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) 2018 Science Update found that the global warming potential of methane is around 30% higher than in IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report, and that the impact of tropospheric ozone on public health may be significantly higher than previously calculated.

The SAP called for additional mitigation measures in the agricultural sector, enhanced action to address emissions from waste and agriculture, and the reporting of individual climate forcer emissions to estimate the health impacts of ozone and climate impacts of methane.

The SAP published a second Science Update in 2018 – titled Addressing Black Carbon Emissions Inventories– as the Coalition’s contribution to the IPCC Expert Meeting on short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs).

2018 also saw the release of the report, Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based Solutions, an important milestone for the Assessments Initiative. The report identified 25 cost effective measures that countries can take to reduce air pollution. The benefits of implementing the measures include: one billion people in Asia breathing clean air that meets World Health Organization guidelines by 2030, and a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide and a 45% reduction in methane emissions, preventing up to a third of a degree Celsius in global warming. The report is the result of years of work by regional and international scientists, the UN Environment’s Regional Office for Asia Pacific, the Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership (APCAP), and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.  

Key messages from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s 2017-2018 Annual Report include:

  • The pathway to achieve the goals matters – rapid reduction of SLCPs, along with deep cuts to carbon dioxide, are necessary if we are to reach the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal, reduce the rate of warming, and help achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
  • Integration of air quality and climate agendas is critical – An increasing number of countries are integrating climate and air pollution mitigation activities to maximise the benefits from climate action and better health. Many countries have developed black carbon inventories and will integrate the results into NDCs and air pollution control plans and policies.
  • Fast implementation of SLCP measures will prevent 0.6 degrees Celsius of temperature increase between now and 2050
  • The Multiple Benefits Pathway Framework is helping countries integrate their near and long-term climate objectives based on national development and economic priorities. Six Coalition countries have used the Framework to help integrate emission reduction policies and align these with their international development and climate commitments to provide national health and environmental benefits.
  • The Coalition’s mitigation measures are increasingly taken up by external funding mechanisms, organizations, programmes. Projects to implement CCAC measures are attracting funding beyond the direct support provided by the Coalition.
  • Sub-national participation continues to increase – California became the Coalition’s first subnational partner and city engagement has increased through BreatheLife and the Municipal Solid Waste and Heavy-Duty Vehicles initiatives.
  • Reducing short-lived climate pollutants can save millions of lives and increase food security – Fast action to reduce SLCPs can prevent 2.4 million premature deaths and prevent up to 50 million tons of crop losses every year.

Expert assistance

Our Expert Assistance is a no-cost service that connects you to an extensive network of professionals for consultation and advice on a range of short-lived climate pollution issues and policies.  

Experts will provide guidance on technological options, mitigation measures (like those carried out by our initiatives), funding opportunities, application of measurement tools, and policy development.

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