According to a 2011 UNEP report coordinated by SEI, fast action could cut near term climate change by about half a degree C, reduce air pollution deaths by over two million a year and boost food security. Half of black carbon and methane emission reductions will save money or be low cost.
“Reducing short lived climate pollutants is a win-win for sure,” said Hillary Clinton on Sunday. “By reducing them we can avoid 30 % of current global warming, save millions of lives and tons of crops. Much can be done with existing technologies, some at zero cost. To act on SLCPs is however not enough. We must also address CO2 aggressively.”
SEI has been instrumental in gathering the scientific evidence on the effects of SLCPs and raising awareness of the benefits of taking immediate action. Following a meeting in Bangladesh funded by the Swedish government and facilitated by SEI, a group of countries led by the US, Sweden, Bangladesh, Ghana, Canada and Mexico have built a coalition to address SLCPs. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) was launched by Hillary Clinton in February 2012 and is a partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, representatives of the private sector, the environmental community, and other members of civil society.
“This is a coalition of action based on science,” said Lena Ek on Sunday. “By preventing short-lived climate pollutants we can significantly reduce near-term climate change and at the same time save 2,5 million lives per year, increase crop yields and food security and promote gender equality and women´s rights across the globe.”
“The merit of acting on short-lived climate pollutants is that we can get tangible progress immediately,” said Hillary Clinton. “In addition to our host, Lena Ek from Sweden, the US, Canada, Mexico, Ghana, Bangladesh who started the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, we now have the G8, the European Commission, the World Bank, Denmark, Columbia, Norway on board.”
SEI Executive Director Johan L. Kuylenstierna attended the event with Hillary Clinton and moderated the discussion that followed Clinton’s talk. Short-lived climate forcers will also be on the agenda at Rio+20, one of the five key thematic areas for SEI at Rio+20.