30 Apr 2014 Press release Air

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC): Accelerating Action on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) Abu Dhabi Ascent 4-5 May 2014

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is the first global effort to address Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) through a voluntary partnership bringing together governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and the private sector to take action. Based on two years of experience addressing SLCPs, the CCAC will bring specific proposals to the Abu Dhabi Ascent meeting on Hydro-Fluoro Carbons (HFCs), Green Freight, Oil & Gas, Methane Finance, Health and Air Quality, Municipal Solid Waste and Agriculture. SLCPs will be addressed at the Plenary by keynotes speakers and the high-level dialogue, as well as through the break-out sessions, two of which are specifically dedicated to SLCPs.

Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) are responsible for a substantial fraction of climate forcing. The main SLCPs are HFCs, Black Carbon, Tropospheric Ozone and Methane. Implementation of known control measures and rapid reduction of Methane and Black Carbon are likely slow down the warming expected by 2050 by about 0.5 C plus 0.1 C of warming that can be avoided by 2050 through the phase-out of HFCs. Urban air pollution from fine particulate matter (PM10-2.5), much of it comprised of Black Carbon, is a growing worldwide concern. Some seven million people died from indoor and outdoor air pollution in 2012 - 1 out of every 8 deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization.

"More than a decade of painstaking science has built a case that cannot be ignored. Namely, that swift action on the multiple sources of black carbon, HFCs, and methane can deliver extraordinary benefits in terms of public health, food security and near term climate protection." Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary-General and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director

Background Information

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Partners will incorporate a multi-sectoral approach in the discussions.

On Oil & Gas, the CCAC partners at Abu Dhabi will work to build a public-private partnership to be launched at the SG Summit in September to systematically reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition Oil and Gas Partnership breakout session (Session II) will discuss this. The Oil & Gas Partnership would undertake a systematic approach across Oil & Gas production operations to: identify the main sources of methane emissions; apply cost-effective mitigation technologies and practices; and report their progress in a transparent, credible fashion that demonstrates results. The oil and gas industry is estimated to account for over 20 percent of global methane emissions. In addition, CCAC partners work on technology demonstrations to recover hydrocarbon liquids which are responsible for the formation of black carbon and methane.

Methane accounts for some 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and has a potency of at least 84 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 20-year time horizon. The International Energy Agency identified methane emissions from upstream oil and gas as one of four key mitigation opportunities that can be addressed prior to 2020 with existing technologies. It estimates that efforts to address methane emissions here could account for around 15 percent (over 0.5 Gt CO2eq) of the GHG reduction needed to keep the world on a 2-degree Celcius path.

On Green Freight, the CCAC partners at Abu Dhabi will work on promoting a Green Freight Action Plan during the Accelerating Action on SLCP breakout session (Session III). The movement of freight with heavy-duty diesel-based transport contributes approximately 20% of black carbon worldwide. While new vehicle emissions and fuel quality standards help reduce emissions from new vehicles, legacy diesel engines (certified under older standards) can operate for decades, creating excess emissions. Green freight programs in a growing number of countries have demonstrated the capacity to leverage market-based public / private partnerships to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of freight transportation. These programs foster the accelerated adoption of advanced technologies and strategies that help companies save fuel and lower operating costs while reducing environmental impacts. Recognizing existing efforts, the Green Freight Initiative of the CCAC at Abu Dhabi will provide a forum to foster greater cooperation among countries and with international organizations, and a platform from which to engage the private sector to expand and harmonize green freight programs.

Black carbon, or soot, is a component of Particulate Matter (PM) and a powerful climate forcer (second most potent after CO2). It is a dangerous air pollutant with multiple impacts on ecosystems and health, including respiratory and cardiac disease, cancer and premature deaths. PM is the number one pollutant in cities around the world. The Global Green Freight Action Plan will improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of freight operations worldwide by: developing a framework to allow stakeholders to understand what is needed to enhance freight sector energy and environmental efficiency and significantly reduce CO2 and black carbon; providing a common roadmap to help coordinate green freight programs between regions and countries, and ease implementation; establishing roles and responsibilities for key actors to implement and support the Action Plan, as well as clear benefits and opportunities leveraged by participating in these efforts; providing a platform for stakeholders to share best practices and freight efficiency data, promote innovation, and communicate sustainability improvements for freight transportation.

On HFCs, the CCAC partners at Abu Dhabi will work with governments and the private sector to promote a global phasedown of high GWP HFCs. At the SLCP breakout session (Session III), CCAC partners will emphasize the availability of climate-friendly alternatives in the Cold Food Chain based on specific demonstration projects, seek private sector leadership to spearhead collaboration and corporate commitment to move to climate-friendly technology in Cold Food Chain and highlight existing areas of progress where HFCs phase out pledges has been made.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are highly potent manmade greenhouse gases used in specialized industrial sectors, including refrigeration, air conditioning and insulation. HFCs are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in the world, increasing by 10-15% annually in some countries. Without immediate action, HFC emissions are projected to increase to as much as 20% of total annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Fast action to address HFCs would also catalyze gains in energy efficiency in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, thereby greatly reducing electricity use and carbon dioxide emissions, along with emissions of the HFCs themselves. Recent case studies prepared by the CCAC on commercial refrigeration systems, where HFCs were replaced by various climate friendly alternatives, showed significant reductions in the carbon footprint of the stores, including from energy savings. Depending on the alternatives selected and the type of refrigeration system concerned, energy savings ranged from 15% up to 30% and the carbon footprint reductions ranged from 60% to 85%. For example the projected performance in one case was estimated to reduce the carbon footprint of the store by 85% relative to its baseline. Of this reduction, 58% is attributable to reduced energy use while the remaining 27% is attributable to the direct emissions avoided by replacing HFCs with a low-GWP alternative. The phase-down of HFCs is not only possible, as the CCAC case studies have shown, but also presents a unique opportunity for fast mitigation and makes financial sense. (See UNEP CCAC Low-GWP Alternatives in Commercial Refrigeration: Propane, CO2 and HFO Case Studies). The Montreal Protocol has already proven successful in implementing a global phase-out of CFCs and HCFCs, which were previously used in the sectors now using HFCs.

On Methane Finance, the CCAC partners at Abu Dhabi will present a pilot auction facility for methane and climate change mitigation (World Bank) to provide certainty on carbon prices and leverage private investments in methane-reducing projects. Once demonstrated, this financial instrument can be easily scaled up, including by the GCF. The first auction will focus on methane reduction projects. Offering a guarantee on carbon prices, backed by donor money, would allow the private sector to immediately "jump start" these stranded projects and deliver quickly methane reductions. The Facility proposes to achieve this by testing a mechanism that maximizes value for money and can be easily scaled up and replicated to other sectors. The facility will pilot this over a series of 3 to 5 auction rounds.

On Agriculture, the CCAC partners at Abu Dhabi will promote increased awareness and catalyze actions to reduce emissions of methane and black carbon from livestock, paddy rice, and agricultural burning. The CCAC Agriculture Initiative is the first action-oriented global effort to address both methane and black carbon emissions from key agricultural sectors. The agriculture and forestry sectors are responsible for roughly 50% of methane and 35% of black carbon emissions globally. Aggressive action to reduce these pollutants across all sectors could avoid nearly 0.5˚C warming, 2 million premature deaths annually, and 30 million tons of crop losses annually by 2050. Efforts to reduce the intensity of these emissions can also lead to improvements in productivity, food security, livelihoods, resilience, resource efficiency, and reductions in other greenhouse gases.

On Municipal Solid Waste, the CCAC partners at Abu Dhabi will promote scale-up of city actions on solid waste management towards launching a global city network to achieve ambitious emission reductions from the waste sector. Twenty-six cities in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) initiative on municipal solid waste are developing sustainable waste management practices to significantly reduce SLCPs from the waste sector in the near- term. The initiative aims to use this platform to significantly scale up city actions beyond the CCAC. This will be achieved through national and city governments, in partnership with the private sector and other city networks, making a commitment to replicate these efforts nationally and globally, with an aspirational goal of reaching 100 cities by September. Actions include extending collection coverage, source separation, adding value to waste, improving waste transport, establishing sanitary landfills, and capturing and utilizing landfill gas.

Landfills are the third largest anthropogenic source of methane, accounting for approximately 11 per cent of estimated global methane emissions, or nearly 800 MtCO2e per year. The waste sector is also a significant source of black carbon through open burning of uncollected or illegally landfilled waste, and transport of waste by outdated heavy-duty vehicles. Mismanaged waste impacts the social fabric of cities, often relying on informal waste pickers to collect and separate waste, polluting local ground water through uncontrolled leachate, and increasing the transmission of communicable diseases. The World Bank projects that municipal solid waste streams will nearly double worldwide by 2025, placing increasing pressure on cities to manage this growing and complex challenge.

On Urban Health & Climate, the CCAC partners at Abu Dhabi will promote engagement of cities, and their leaders, to commit to an Action Plan involving: air pollution assessments, followed by SLCP mitigation in priority sectors, targeting the most health-relevant policy measures. Benchmarking, tools and metrics will support interventions with dual health and climate benefits - with an emphasis on building capacity in developing cities to forecast and track climate and health gains, along with building awareness in energy, transport, housing, waste and other sectors of the health and economic potential of low-carbon strategies. The CCAC will also provide a platform for cities to share best practices, promote innovation, and communicate about improvements in urban air pollution exposures. Outdoor air pollution is highest in developing cities. Ozone, fostered by methane emissions, adds to the burden of respiratory illness. Known, affordable urban measures to reduce SLCP emissions will ensure dual health and climate gains.

Opportunities to raise any of these issues during the Abu Dhabi Ascent, pledge support to deliverables and scaling-up:

4 May, 10:10 - 11.10 Plenary High-Level presentations on Action Areas:

SLCP speakers: Achim Steiner, USG and Executive Director UNEP; Minister Gregory Barker, UK; Bahijjahtu Abubakar, CCAC co-chair, Nigeria

4 May, 14:30 - 16:30 Plenary First Ministerial Conversation: Catalyzing Action

Open for interventions from the audience

5 May, 9:45 - 11:00 Climate Action (Breakout Session II)

Room: Climate and Clean Air Coalition Oil and Gas Partnership (full SLCP session). Moderator: Dave Turk, U.S. (coordinated by UNEP, CCAC)

Room: Transformative Projects for Cities (Cities session). Moderator: Andrew Steer (coordinated by UN-Habitat). Possible interventions on CCAC Municipal Solid Waste initiative deliverables

Room: Agriculture Alliance (Agriculture). Moderator: David Nabarro. Possible interventions on CCAC Agriculture initiatives deliverables (coordinated by UNDP).

5 May, 11:30 - 12:45 Climate Action (Breakout Session III)

Room: Accelerating Action on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (full SLCP session). Moderated by Bahijjahtu Abubakar, Nigeria (coordinated by UNEP, CCAC)

14:15 - 15:15 Second Ministerial Conversation: The Road Ahead

Possible with interventions from the audience

For More Information, visit:

www.unep.org/ccac Twitter: @CCACoalition