The seventh High Level Assembly (HLA) of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) took place on 8 December 2015 in Paris, France, on the margins of the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). More than 100 participants attended the meeting.
During the meeting, partners reported back on successful policies and actions to address SLCPs and announced their plans for future work. The Assembly also formally launched the CCAC 5-Year Strategic Plan and Framework for Demonstrating Impact (HLA/MAY2015/02) and approved the Paris Communiqué which highlights the commitment of all partners to work together to reduce SLCP emissions (HLA/DEC2015/03). In addition, delegates heard an update on the science of SLCPs.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CCAC
The CCAC is a voluntary international coalition of governments, international organizations, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which focuses on addressing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). The CCAC was created in February 2012 by Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the US, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). It is open to countries and non-state actors, and currently has 110 partners consisting of 50 country partners and 60 non-state partners.
SLCPs include black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and many HFCs. These pollutants have a near-term warming influence on the climate, and, with the exception of HFCs, are also harmful air pollutants that affect human health, agriculture and ecosystems. The objectives of the CCAC include raising awareness of impacts and transformative mitigation strategies of SLCPs. It also seeks to: enhance and develop new national and regional actions; promote best practices and showcase successful efforts; and improve scientific understanding of SLCP impacts and mitigation strategies.
SECTORAL AND CROSS-CUTTING INITIATIVES: The CCAC has approved 11 Initiatives. Its seven sectoral Initiatives are on: Agriculture, Bricks, Cookstoves, Diesel, HFCs, Oil and Gas, and Waste. The four cross-cutting Initiatives are on: Assessments, Finance, Health, and Supporting National Action Plans (SNAP) on SLCPs.
GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE: The CCAC’s institutional structure includes the HLA, Working Group, Steering Committee, Scientific Advisory Panel and Secretariat.
The HLA meets at the level of ministers of state partners and heads of non-state partners at least once a year to provide strategic guidance and leadership to the CCAC. The Working Group includes focal points from each CCAC partner. It convenes at least twice a year to oversee activities.
The CCAC also has a Steering Committee composed of the two Working Group Co-Chairs, six state partners, two representatives of international organizations and two NGO representatives. The Steering Committee meets every month to provide oversight support and recommendations to the Working Group. Current members of the Steering Committee are the two co-chairs from Chile and Norway, plus Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, the Netherlands, the Philippines, the United States, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, the World Bank, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. The Scientific Advisory Panel consists of 14 scientists, including ex-officio, the UNEP Chief Scientist.
The CCAC Secretariat is hosted by UNEP in its Division of Technology, Industry and Economics in Paris, France.
REPORT OF THE SEVENTH CCAC
HIGH LEVEL ASSEMBLY
The seventh CCAC High Level Assembly opened on Tuesday, 8 December 2015. Co-Chair Hakima El Haite,Minister of the Environment, Morocco, welcomed participants noting that SLCP emissions have a negative impact not only on the climate, but also on public health, and that reducing them will save millions of lives.
Co-Chair Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, underscored that reducing SLCPs pays off immediately for both climate and livelihoods, and is critical for staying below 2°C and avoiding irreversible tipping points.
Janos Pasztor, UN Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change, on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, highlighted that a strong agreement in Paris is essential, but that governments alone cannot meet the challenge of climate change. In this regard, he said, the CCAC represents an impressive example of a partnership between governments, civil society and business that can deliver results.
Jerry Brown, Governor of California, US, noted that reducing SLCPs is an urgent challenge, and one that can be tackled right now. He stressed that “we have the technologies and they bring benefits immediately, including in cities and by creating jobs.” Brown further highlighted California’s achievements in reducing black carbon emissions and the emission reduction targets for black carbon, methane and HFCs.
INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE ON SUCCESS AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO FUTURE ACTIONS
In this session, Ministers, Vice-Ministers, and heads of partner organizations shared success stories and made announcements.
The US noted the importance of amending the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to address HFCs. She also highlighted domestic policies by the US Environmental Protection Agency to reduce SLCPs through regulations for motor vehicles, measures to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, and public procurement policies. She also announced strong collaboration between the CCAC and the Global Methane Forum which is to take place in 2016 in Washington, DC.
The Netherlands highlighted the importance of: scaling up SLCP action in key areas, such as sustainable waste management; and working in partnership with governments and the private sector such as the Lean and Green Programme and the Global Green Freight Action Plan.
Australia highlighted the air quality and agricultural productivity benefits of SLCP action, and announced its AUD2.5 billion Emission Reduction Fund to support mitigation activities with a significant portion dedicated to reducing methane emissions. She also noted a project in Fiji to identify sources of SLCPs.
The Philippines reported on its national roadmap to address SLCPs in the next five years, which covers diesel vehicles, low-sulphur diesel and electric vehicles, inventories of SLCP emissions and stocktaking of existing policies and regulations. He also said cooperation is important in the Asia-Pacific region and noted its South-South center of excellence in this regard.
Sweden emphasized the Arctic Council’s work on adopting a collective numerical goal to reduce emissions from black carbon in 2017. She also highlighted: the national report on black carbon emissions; strategies to improve air quality; support for research on emission scenarios and inventories; and the city-to-city exchange in the area of municipal solid waste.
The Russian Federation highlighted the importance of cooperating in the Arctic, announcing its contribution of 10 million Euros to the project support mechanism under the Arctic Council, as well as a national report on black carbon to the Council. In the context of increased forest fires as a result of climate change, he noted a recent national ban on burning dry grass which is a large source of emissions. He also announced a platform on green technologies in Brazil, Russian Federation, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).
The WHO highlighted that the result of addressing SLCPs can be measured in improved public health, food security, energy efficiency and reduced poverty, and that its partnership with the CCAC is a win-win union. Uruguay noted its success in expanding renewables which now provide 95% of the country’s electricity. He also highlighted: its new standards for fuel quality, reducing sulphur levels to below 50 parts per million (ppm); new air quality standards addressing additional mobile and stationary sources; and joint work with the Molina Centre in Chile on filters in cars and public transportation.
The World Bank highlighted its support for carbon pricing, noting that carbon pricing will provide economic conditions for all climate change actions to move faster. She noted the first auction under the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Mitigation and announced a second to focus on methane in waste. Further, she said there is remarkable progress under the Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative.
Italy stressed the role of alternative technologies in reducing SLCP emissions and the air quality and climate linkages. Mexico noted their 51% black carbon emission reduction goal reflected in their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), and expressed support for incorporating climate forcers in the climate change regime and their inclusion in all modelling exercises.
Maldives announced a plan for a national inventory of SLCPs and a feasibility study on district cooling to reduce HFCs in the capital city of Male. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development reported on the results of CCAC support in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal, to rebuild brick kilns with less polluting, more efficient and earthquake-resilient technologies.
Canada underscored the importance of reducing SLCPs in the Arctic region which is profoundly affected by climate change. He also announced CAD35 million in international funding to reduce SLCPs including CAD10 million to the CCAC Trust Fund.
The European Investment Bank announced its upcoming report on SLCPs to better understand the impact of its operations on these emissions and options to scale up finance. He also noted the importance of coordinated work among Multilateral Development Banks on including SLCPs in the climate finance tracking methodology.
Poland noted that its domestic policies have been successful in reducing emissions while GDP increased at the same time. He highlighted the KAWKA programme to replace coal boilers with eco-friendly ones. He offered to host a conference on SLCPs in Poland next year.
Morocco highlighted its domestic efforts to reduce SLCPs, particularly the funds set aside to address methane from landfills, and invited the HLA to be held at the next COP in Marrakesh. The UN Economic Commission for Europe emphasized significant progress under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and Gothenburg Protocol as well as the work in the World Forum on Vehicle Regulations and the Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane.
Bangladesh reported on national actions to reduce emissions from brick kilns, cookstoves, kerosene lamps, livestock manure and rice fields. Cote d’Ivoire noted their involvement in several initiatives including the Supporting National Planning for action on SLCPs (SNAP) initiative. He highlighted the importance of regional assessments and scientific data.
The International Climate Change Partnership highlighted an initiative to reduce HFC use and emissions in the cold food chain while minimizing food spoilage, and a Global Refrigerant Management Initiative on HFCs, one of the announcements at the LPAA SLCP Focus Day.
Nigeria said they are engaged in the work on reducing emissions from gas flaring and venting, as well as other initiatives including on cookstoves and regional assessment, and highlighted their support to CCAC work on kerosene lighting.
Norway congratulated the Coalition its growth, in terms of both the number of members, as well as the number of initiatives and impact. He announced a contribution of US$1.8 million to the CCAC Trust Fund for 2015 and 2016. He also underlined a recent national study on co-benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation options for reducing SLCPs.
UN-Habitat emphasized the Urban Health Initiative with WHO, as well as the Habitat III Conference, taking place in October 2016, noting this can serve as a good platform to engage with local authorities. The Republic of Guinea noted its national action plans and workstreams on agriculture and environment, waste management, energy, transportation and cattle breeding.
Japan highlighted the importance of addressing municipal waste, especially in Asian cities, and expressed support for scientific assessments on air pollution, also in Asia. He also expressed support for an HFC Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Chile highlighted its actions to reduce air pollution from wood burning and from diesel vehicles in cities, noting that the benefits outweigh the costs.
The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies reported on its work to develop region and country specific approaches to prioritizing actions on reducing SLCPs. He gave an example of Nepal where high levels of black carbon emissions were primarily attributed to brick production and motor vehicles.
Kenya highlighted their engagement in the CCAC and expressed their expectation that the 5-Year Strategic Plan will help scale up action to reduce SLCPs. Finland highlighted the unique multi-stakeholder nature of the partnership and noted that CCAC’s goals are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. She announced Finland’s contribution of 100,000 Euros to the Trust Fund. She also noted the importance of private sector clean technologies, citing the example of renewable diesel, and the linkages with work in the Arctic.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN underlined that agriculture is both part of the problem due to its methane emissions and part of the solution due to its ability to sequester carbon. She expressed support for diversification approaches in agriculture, incentives and investments targeting farmers, and contributing to knowledge and science-based evidence.
Germany highlighted that industrialized countries need to go beyond the low-hanging fruits and implement structural changes. She noted advanced waste management and circular economy in Germany, expressed support for an HFC Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and announced the contribution of 16.6 million Euros to SLCP mitigation measures under its International Climate Initiative under which 51.5 million Euros have already been allocated to SLCP reduction.
Ghana noted its efforts to reduce emissions from kerosene lamps and achieve zero flaring in oil production. France outlined domestic actions and plans to reduce methane emissions from domestic waste, agriculture, city transportation and freight and cargo, highlighting their engagement in the Global Green Freight Action Plan and public procurement obligations for clean public transport.
France further expressed support for an HFC Amendment under the Montreal Protocol and announced that it would maintain its level of funding to the Trust Fund.
The Institute of Governance and Sustainable Development stressed that focus on the near-term measures should be the next step after COP 21. Switzerland reported on approved revisions to the air pollution legislation to reflect technological improvements and CLRTAP.
Peru reported on its progress in black carbon reduction from brick production and transport, and methane reduction from agriculture, and proposed to host a sub-regional conference to exchange experiences and create a platform for sub-regional cooperation. Iraq highlighted its vision to adopt low-carbon technologies and renewables reflected in its INDC.
The Dominican Republic noted domestic actions including on air pollution legislation and methane emissions in the pork industry. The Environmental Defense Fund stressed the importance of addressing methane emissions in the oil and gas industry, noting the plans for a series of peer-reviewed studies with financial support by several oil companies.
The Carbon Disclosure Project supported science-based targets and noted their work on the potential to include SLCPs in business reporting.
Drew Shindell, CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel, gave an update on the science of SLCPs highlighting: profound benefits for health, climate and agriculture from SLCP mitigation; the urgency to act as the rate of warming exceeds the adaptive capacity of ecosystems, such as in the case of the collapse of Gulf of Maine cod stocks; and the importance of SLCP action alongside deep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions in order to stand a chance to stay below a 2°C warming in the needed timeframe.
Shindell reported a first time ever drop in methane emissions without a recession, noting this was mainly due to a transition from coal to natural gas in China and the US. Finally, he highlighted that SLCP measures are readily available and cost-effective.
The Assembly formally launched the CCAC’s 5-Year Strategic Plan and Framework for Demonstrating Impact (HLA/MAY2015/02) and approved the Paris Communiqué which highlights the commitment of all partners to work together on reducing SLCP emissions (HLA/DEC2015/03).
In his closing remarks, Achim Steiner highlighted the CCAC’s achievements in bringing all actors together to tackle the problem of SLCPs.
Global Methane Forum: This Forum will discuss options for methane reduction and abatement activities, through high-level sessions on cross-cutting issues such as project financing, and technical sessions on biogas, coals mines, and oil and natural gas systems. Joint Global Methane Initiative (GMI) Subcommittee – CCAC Initiative level discussions on policy and projects will also take place and the Forum will provide opportunities for networking with methane experts in the public and private sectors. The meeting, which is being organized by the GMI in partnership with the CCAC, will be held back-to-back with the CCAC Working Group meeting. dates: 28-30 March 2016 location: Washington DC, US email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.epa.gov/globalmethane/meeting03282016.htm
CCAC Working Group: The next CCAC Working Group meeting will take place in Washington DC, US. dates: 31 March to 1 April 2016 location: Washington DC, US contact: CCAC Secretariat phone: +33-1-44-37-14-50 fax: +33-1-44-37-14-74 email: email@example.com www: http://www.ccacoalition.org
Climate Action 2016: Announced at COP 21, Climate Action 2016 will convene governments, business and municipal leaders, civil society and academia to maintain momentum for multi-stakeholder climate implementation. This high-level gathering aims to complement and promote ongoing climate action on cities, land use, resilience, energy, transport, tools for decision makers, and finance. Organizing partners include: the World Bank; the Global Environment Facility; the Compact of Mayors; the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; We Mean Business; and the University of Maryland. dates: 5-6 May 2016 location: Washington D.C., US. phone: +1 (301) 405-3032 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.climateaction.umd.edu
42nd Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies: The 42nd sessions of the subsidiary bodies to the UNFCCC are expected to take place in May 2016. dates:16-26 May 2016 location: Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.unfccc.int