US to lead climate coalition to reduce non-CO2 pollutants

Aims to slow down global temperature rise by 0.5°C

Published: Friday 17 February 2012

The United States will lead a global campaign to reduce short-lived pollutants that aggravate global warming. In an announcement made on February 16, secretary of state Hillary Clinton announced the formation of a new coalition called Climate and Clean Air Coalition that will target non-Co2 pollutants, including methane, hydrofluorocarbons and black carbon. She made the announcement in the presence of ministers from four member countries of the coalition. Reduction of these pollutants, according to Clinton, could prevent temperature rise by about half a degree Celsius.

Clinton said that the new effort is not an alternative to reduction of carbon emissions for which the world has not done enough but it aims to complement those efforts.  Quoting from United Nations’ Environment Programme (UNEP) data, the US secretary of state said these three pollutants are responsible for more than one-third of the problem of global warming and reducing them could slow down global temperature rise by about half a degree by 2050. While specific actions to be taken under this programme are yet to be decided, UNEP will be responsible for implementing this campaign.

UNEP has already identified 16 areas of action which includes, replacing inefficient cook stoves and traditional brick kilns with more efficient ones to cut down on black carbon; stopping the burning of agricultural waste; harvesting coal mine methane; improving waste water treatment and adopting emission standards on vehicles.

US will provide $12 million to get this coalition up and running apart from the existing $10 million provided annually for two programmes called the global methane initiative and global alliance for clean cook-stoves. The other countries in this coalition include Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico and Sweden. 


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