NGO partners reinforce urgency of Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s call-to-action

Paris, 27 August 2012 – The urgent need to mitigate emissions of short-lived climate pollutants to protect human health and the environment now, and slow the rate of climate change expected by 2050, has prompted five leading non-government institutions to add their weight to a growing global Coalition. 

The Clean Air Task Force, ClimateWorks Foundation, the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD), the International Council on Clean Transportation and the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative are the latest partners admitted to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC).

It brings to 27 the number of partners who have joined the voluntary partnership since its launch in February 2012.

The addition of these five respected non-government organization (NGO) partners is seen as a significant step in broadening the membership, reach and voice of the Coalition which aims to catalyze major reductions in black carbon (or soot), methane and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – or “short-lived climate pollutants” – from sectors such as brick production, the diesel transport sector, municipal solid waste and oil and natural gas production.

Compelling scientific evidence indicates that fast action to reduce these pollutants, especially methane and black carbon, has the potential to slow down the warming expected in the first half of this century by as much as 0.5°C, as well as prevent over two million premature deaths each year and avoid annual crop losses of over 30 million tonnes.

The IGSD has also been selected as the first non-government representative on the newly formed CCAC Steering Committee.

“This ground-breaking Coalition has the potential to catalyze fast action to help the people who need it the most, and IGSD is honoured to represent the NGO partners in this endeavour,” a Senior Advisor to the IGSD and former Secretary for Environment and Sustainable Development for Argentina, Romina Picolotti, said.

“Reducing these climate pollutants not only harmonizes development and climate concerns but it’s also critical for protecting the world’s most vulnerable regions and people, particularly women and children, from the worst impacts of climate change,” Ms Picolotti said.

Further quotes from the new NGO partners

Clean Air Task Force (CATF)
“The formation of the CCAC raises the visibility of the need to reduce short-lived climate pollutants to an entirely new level. It signals that health and climate pollutants are tightly linked and that attempts to stabilize climate can benefit from swift attention to the full suite of pollutants that impact it – from those with the shortest lifetime to those with the longest,” said CATF Senior Scientist, Ellen Baum.

“We have spent the past decade working with scientists and other researchers both in the US and elsewhere on a number of initiatives directed at understanding the health and climate impacts of black carbon and methane. We look forward to close engagement with the CCAC and its initiatives in the years to come,” she said.

Established in 2000, CATF is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing atmospheric pollution through research, advocacy, and private sector collaboration.  See: www.catf.us

ClimateWorks Foundation
The President and CEO of the ClimateWorks Foundation, Julie Blunden, said: “ClimateWorks is committed to cost-effective policies that prevent dangerous climate change. There are several practical, readily available interventions to reduce short-lived forcers that meet these criteria.”

“The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is a terrific mechanism to kick those into high gear and we are very happy to be a part of it.”

The ClimateWorks Foundation and its Network of grantees have been long-term proponents and supporters of action to reduce short-lived forcers.  See: www.climateworks.org

Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD)
“The Coalition has the potential to be the catalyst for cutting the rate of climate change in half for the next 30 to 40 years, while saving millions of lives a year and preventing significant crop losses,” said the President of IGSD, Durwood Zaelke.  “IGSD is fully committed to helping the Coalition achieve these planet-saving goals.”

The Institute collaborates with leading national and international and academic organizations and provides the secretariat to the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement.  See: www.igsd.org

International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI)
The International Cryosphere Climate Initiative's Director, Pam Pearson, noted: “As an organization focused on climate change in cryosphere regions, such as the Arctic and Himalayas where climate change is occurring at twice the rate elsewhere on the globe, ICCI is committed to supporting deep and immediate cuts in CO2. However, for the cryosphere, even the deepest cuts and the two-degree goal will allow these regions to change far too much, and in ways that present an added threat to the globe such as sea level rise from glacial melting, and increased release of methane and CO2 from permafrost and the Arctic sea bed. This summer may already have seen a new record low for Arctic sea ice extent, which decreases the earth's albedo and thus lead to additional potential warming.”

“Cuts in short-lived climate pollutants such as black carbon, ozone and methane are therefore a necessary and urgent complement to cuts in CO2, in order to slow and bend the curve of warming in the next few decades, which are critical to cryosphere regions,” Ms Pearson said.

See: http://iccinet.org

International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)
“The ICCT is very pleased to become a partner in carrying out the critically important work of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition,” said Drew Kodjak, Executive Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation. "Since its founding 11 years ago, one of ICCT's overarching principles has been to pursue policies that address environmental problems in mutually reinforcing ways at the local, regional, and global levels. The CCAC offers a rich opportunity to partner with countries and organizations that also see the wisdom of that approach.”

“We are confident that our particular technical expertise in the transportation sector, and the global reach of our Council members, will enhance the work of the CCAC, and equally confident that our partnership with the CCAC can aid our efforts to curb black carbon emissions from diesels, reduce the carbon content of fuels, and end the use of climate-harming refrigerants in vehicles worldwide.”

The ICCT’s mission is to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of road, marine, and air transportation to benefit public health and mitigate climate change. 
See: www.theicct.org

How to join the Coalition

All CCAC partners are committed to mitigating short-lived climate pollutants and, where possible, to helping others take similar actions.

Other non-government partners interested in joining the Coalition should visit the website for more information on eligibility and application guidelines: www.unep.org/ccac. Potential applicants must endorse meaningful action to address short-lived climate pollutants through the Coalition and identify specific actions already taken, or planned, to address near-term climate change.

Media contacts

Julie Marks, CCAC Secretariat, UNEP +33 1 44 37 14 21 julie.marks@unep.org
Stuart Ross, Clean Air Task Force +1 914-649-5037 sross@catf.us
Nathan Borgford-Parnell, IGSD +1 206 595 5379 nborgford-parnell@igsd.org
Joe Schultz, ICCT +1 202 534-1615 joe@theicct.org