SLCPs are receiving increased attention across Latin America and the Caribbean. Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Peru have joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and decided to take meaningful action to reduce these harmful substances. They have already started the work and engaged in various Coalition initiatives. Over the past year, Mexico and Colombia developed their national SLCP plan, conducted inventories of HFCs consumption and use, and engaged in actions to address methane and black carbon emissions from brick kilns, waste management, and oil and natural gas production. Chile has established a national task force on heavy duty diesel vehicles, the Chilean cities of Viña del Mar and Concepción are looking at ways to reduce their emissions from municipal waste while Valparaiso is about to start developing a clean port programs. Chile is now about to test a new technology that will avoid the use of high global warming potential HFCs in supermarket fridges and freezers. Peru has set a target for the introduction of 50ppm sulfur diesel fuels by 2016.
In March 2014, the XIX Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean adopted a Regional Plan of Action for Atmospheric Pollutants in which members of the Intergovernmental Network on Air Quality agreed to join efforts to combat air pollution, including SLCPs.
During an Inter-Governmental Consultation on SLCPs with 20 governments from Latin America and the Caribbean convened by the CCAC in Bogotá, policy makers underlined the need for a robust scientific assessment and credible and concrete recommendations to support successful national action on SLCPs. This scientifically independent assessment, sponsored by the CCAC, will provide a regional focus for increased cooperation in the region.
Over the coming months the assessment team will work to bring into the effort more policy makers, scientists, practitioners, and other key stakeholders from the region.
UNEP through its Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama is coordinating this major assessment process with support from key CCAC Partners including the Government of Mexico, through the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change.
At the end of the meeting, Paulo Artaxo, Chair of the Assessment, underlined the importance of the effort, “Air pollution, especially in our growing cities, is harming the health of women and children and climate change is threatening the most vulnerable areas of our region. Short-lived climate pollutants control offers an important opportunity to address these challenges and deliver substantial benefits for the well-being of the populations. After this first author meeting, I am happy to say that top scientists from all over Latin America and the Caribbean are committed to deliver a major scientifically robust integrated assessment with concrete and practical policy recommendations. I believe this report can make a difference for decision-makers to scale up their national action and reduce these harmful emissions over the region. “
The assessment will be completed by the end of 2015. CCAC Partners from Asia and the Pacific are now looking at starting similar assessment efforts in their region.