Climate and Clean Air Coalition

Established in 2012, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) is a voluntary partnership of governments, the private sector, and civil society stakeholders committed to concrete and substantial action to accelerate efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).  Since its launch, in 2012, the Coalition has become the preeminent forum for international fast action on SLCPs with over 110 partners contributing to protection of the environment and public health, the promotion of food and energy security, and addressing near-term climate change.  

As the current co-chair, Canada is working with the Coalition’s partners to raise awareness of the importance of reducing SLCPs, and advance reductions of SLCPs at the national, regional and global level.  To date, Canada has pledged $23 million to the Coalition’s Trust Fund which primarily supports the implementation of activities to reduce SLCPs under the Coalition’s initiatives in developing countries.

The Coalition is reducing SLCPs through the following CCAC initiatives:

  • Reducing black carbon emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles and engines;·        
  • Reducing black carbon emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles and engines;
  • Reducing SLCPs and other pollutants from brick production;
  • Reducing SLCPs from the waste management sector;
  • Promoting HFC alternative technology and standards;
  • Accelerating methane and black carbon reductions from oil and gas production;
  • Reducing SLCPs from agriculture;
  • Supporting national planning for action on SLCPs;
  • Financing SLCP mitigation;
  • Promoting Urban Health
  • Reducing SLCPs from household energy; and,
  • Conducting regional SLCP assessments.

About SLCPs

Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants.  They have relatively short atmospheric lifetimes compared to longer-lived GHGs such as carbon dioxide (CO2), and have a warming impact on climate.  SLCPs include black carbon, which is a component of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and ground-level ozone. In addition to their contribution to near-term climate change, ozone and black carbon are air pollutants and key contributors to smog; long-term and acute exposure to these SLCPS negatively impact human health, contributing to respiratory and heart diseases. Ground-level ozone also contributes to agricultural crop damage. 

The lifetime of SLCPs is an important consideration for addressing climate change. Even if emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2) were to cease today, their atmospheric levels would not decline significantly for a long time as the processes that remove such substances from the atmosphere are slow. In contrast, atmospheric levels of short-lived substances respond relatively rapidly to changes in emissions since they are removed quickly from the atmosphere. 

Recent studies indicate that global action on CO2 and SLCPs together is required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Implementation of black carbon, methane and ozone measures has the potential to reduce global warming in 2050 by ~0.5oC and by ~0.7oC in the Arctic by 2040, prevent more than two million premature deaths each year, and avoid annual crop losses of more than 30 million tonnes by 2030Footnote 1 .The benefits emanating from improved air quality would be felt mainly within the countries where measures to reduce SLCPs are implemented. Reduction of black carbon is of particular interest in the polar regions, including the Canadian Arctic, as there is an additional warming effect from deposition onto snow and ice. Therefore, SLCP reduction  has garnered significant attention on both international and domestic fronts.

Canada’s domestic action on SCLPs

Members of the CCAC are committed to reducing SLCPs both abroad and at home.  Canada’s approach to addressing SLCPs is part of the comprehensive management of climate change and air quality. Canada is taking action on climate change through the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. This Framework is Canada’s plan to grow the economy while reducing emissions and building resilience to adapt to a changing climate. The Pan-Canadian Framework outlines action not only on long-lived GHGs such as carbon dioxide, but also on SLCPs, including specific actions focused on methane and HFCs, as well as actions that foster innovation.

Recent actions by the Government of Canada include:

  • the establishment  of the Air Quality Management System (in collaboration with provinces and territories) to set and achieve ambient air quality standards and emissions targets;
  • investments to decrease reliance on diesel for electricity and heating in Indigenous and northern communities;
  • the announcement of an accelerated national phase out of traditional coal-fired electricity generating units by 2030;
  • the publication of draft emissions regulations for the rail sector;
  • proposed methane regulations for the oil and gas sector published in May 2017;
  • emission regulations for a broad range of on-road and off-road vehicles and engines;
  • regulations for sulphur in gasoline and diesel fuel;
  • the establishment of a permitting and reporting system for the import, export and manufacture of HFCs;
  • proposed regulations to phase down the consumption of HFCs; and
  • publication of a black carbon inventory to help inform regulatory and other decisions relating to the reduction of black carbon emissions from various sources.

Canada is also taking concerted action and providing leadership on SLCPs at the international level through a number of other multilateral initiatives. In addition to co-chairing the CCAC, Canada is co-chairing the Steering Committee of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) from 2016 to 2018, and is actively engaged under the Arctic Council, the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP), and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

For more information on the Clean Air and Climate Coalition, please visit the CCAC website.

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