Clean Cities, Clean Climate: Launch of Solid Waste Partnership

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Rio de Janeiro, 19 June 2012 - The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the Clinton Climate Initiative/C-40, the World Bank, and the Global Methane Initiative are launching a groundbreaking partnership to reduce methane and black carbon pollutants from municipal solid waste.

The CCAC, which has almost tripled its membership since February, aims to dramatically cut short-lived climate pollutants that cause substantial global warming and harm public health.

Select Quotes from Senior Officials for On-the-Record Attribution

C-40 Chair and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "Improving the management of city solid waste, including reducing the release of methane and other greenhouse gases is a top priority of many C-40 cities. The success of this partnership and of our new C40 network will move us a long way toward the greenhouse gas reduction goals we are setting."

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson: "We're proud to join this collaborative effort and tackle a challenge that threatens our climate and the health of people around the world, and stands in the way of prosperous, sustainable urban development. Building partnerships across sectors will open opportunities for innovative, far-reaching advances against one of the largest sources of climate-forcing pollution."

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern: "This initiative encapsulates perfectly what we're trying to do with the newly launched Climate and Clean Air Coalition. Countries, cities, the World Bank, and civil society partnering together to make real-world, scaled-up reductions of 'short-lived climate pollutants,' which cause some 30% of current warming. With this solid waste initiative, we're making a big dent in the third-largest source of methane worldwide, and, at the same time, improving the health and environment of local communities."

World Bank Vice President Rachel Kyte: "The World Bank particularly appreciates this initiative. It highlights two important issues: (i) how cities are responding with leadership and action to some of our big challenges like solid waste and climate change, and (ii) that increasingly our big challenges need all of us - countries, cities, agencies, the private sector, civil society - to work better together and with a much greater sense of urgency."

Background

In addition to intensive work with specific leading cities, this ground-breaking partnership will establish a platform for sharing experiences from successful cities to others around the world. National governments will contribute by removing barriers to effective waste management.

Landfills are the third largest man-made source of methane, a greenhouse gas over 20 times more potent than CO2, and municipal waste production is expected to nearly double worldwide by 2025. Over the coming months, the partnership will work with a group of leading cities, including Lagos and New York, to design city-friendly strategies for rolling out the initiative.

Today's announcement was made during a side event at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

Mitigating black carbon and methane from the municipal solid waste sector is one of five initial focal areas for scaled-up efforts by the CCAC.