Short-lived climate pollutants are powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than carbon dioxide (CO2), yet their potential to warm the atmosphere can be many times greater. Certain short-lived climate pollutants are also dangerous air pollutants that have harmful effects for people, ecosystems and agricultural productivity.
The short-lived climate pollutants black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons are the most important contributors to the man-made global greenhouse effect after carbon dioxide, responsible for up to 45% of current global warming. If no action to reduce emissions of these pollutants is taken in the coming decades, they are expected to account for as much as half of warming caused by human activity.
According to United Nations Environment (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), acting on black carbon and methane in key sectors could reduce projected global warming by 0.5°C by 2050, avoid millions of premature deaths from air pollution annually, prevent millions of tonnes of annual crop losses, and increase energy efficiency, all while providing a number of additional benefits for human wellbeing.
Additionally, fast action under the Montreal Protocol can limit the growth of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by 2100.
A UNEP-WMO assessment has outlined 16 short-lived climate pollutant control measures to reduce methane and black carbon that, if implemented at a global scale, will deliver significant results for near-term climate change as well as air quality, public health, and food security. These measures involve technologies and practices that are readily available and that, in many cases, can be implemented at little cost.
A dedicated Scientific Advisory Panel keeps the Coalition abreast of scientific developments and informs policy discussions.
The panel is composed of eminent scientists representing diverse regions and relevant scientific disciplines.