This article, published in a special Climate Action magazine at COP18, and published online in April 2013, explains the problem of SLCPs and describes how the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) is helping countries address them, drawing on in-depth scientific research in which SEI has been deeply involved.

A major assessment sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showed that sharply reducing emissions by implementing measures focused on methane and black carbon could reduce global warming between now and 2050 by 0.5°C, and could help avoid 2.4 million premature deaths and the loss of tens of millions of tonnes of food crops each year after 2030.

The report identified 16 specific measures, using existing technologies that, if fully implemented, would help to achieve those multiple benefits. Shortly before COP17, UNEP published an analysis of the costs and benefits of each measure, to help policy-makers develop strategies that would bring the greatest benefits to their own regions and countries.

The analysis also showed that the measures would often pay for themselves within a few years. And it reinforced the message that countries that tackle SLCPs would not only help slow down climate change in the near term, but could reap major health, crop yield and regional climate benefits. It was a compelling case, and the CCAC founders committed to closely collaborate and promote fast action to reduce SLCPs. Some partners also pledged to invest millions of dollars to jump-start global action. They also began to rally international support, quickly adding new partners.

Along with an overview of the science, the 16 measures, and CCAC’s work, the article explains how environmental and development goals are converging in the context of addressing SLCPs.