New Report from World Bank and ClimateWorks Foundation Shows Economic Benefits of Climate-Smart Government Policies

Reducing short-lived climate pollutants is a key to increasing global output, the report say

26 June 2014 – The World Bank and ClimateWorks Foundation have released a major report that quantifies many of the economic as well as health and environmental benefits of climate-smart government policies.  The literature on climate change has been lacking the detailed economic analysis this report provides, although additional analysis remains to be done.

The report makes clear that addressing the issue of carbon dioxide is critical to mitigating climate change and improving global welfare. However, the report also stresses that without reducing the short-lived climate pollutants of black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and some hydrofluorocarbons, many of the economic benefits of addressing global warming will be lost.

“While efforts to reduce [carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases], despite some progress, have been slow,” the report states, “recent scientific evidence suggests that cutting so-called ‘short-lived climate pollutants,’ which are responsible for up to 40 percent of the current warming, can have immediate climate impacts. Complementary actions on greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants can slow the rate of near-term warming, push back dangerous tipping points and provide time to allow the world’s poorest people to adapt to the changing climate.”

Helena Molin Valdes, Head of the CCAC Secretariat, praised the report as a timely tool for expanding the world’s thinking on government policies regarding health, environment and climate. “The world is waking up to the benefits of addressing all forms of air pollution,” Valdes said, “but to date the focus has been primarily on climate and health benefits. While these benefits are critical, this report adds the important dimension of economic benefits. As partners of the CCAC, the World Bank and ClimateWorks Foundation have added immeasurably to discussion on this issue.”

The World Bank underlined the impact that international collaborations are having on the complex issues surrounding pollution and climate change. "Many of the benefits outlined in the report come from reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants," said Jane  Ebinger, Manager, Climate Change Policy, World Bank. "Aggressive action to cut black carbon, methane and other harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere offers significant development gains and climate impact. Partnerships like the Climate and Clean Air Coalition are playing an important role in tackling this issue."

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants is a partnership of more than 90 governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, the environmental community, and other members of civil society. The Coalition is government-led but is highly cooperative and voluntary. Short-lived climate pollutants are agents that have a relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere—a few days to a few decades—but also a warming influence on climate as well as, in many cases, detrimental impacts on human health, agriculture and ecosystems. 

For more information on the CCAC, please see www.unep.org/ccac or contact the CCAC Secretariat at ccac_secretariat@unep.org.       

CCAC Mid-term Review Survey

Since its launch with six country partners and UNEP in 2012, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) has grown rapidly to now encompass 46 state partners and 54 non-state partners by January 2015. In order to help formulating a common vision and strategy to scale up actions locally and globally the Coalition is undertaking a small-scale midterm review between January and April 2015. The results of the review will inform the development of the five-year strategic plan for the Coalition, 2016-2020.

Included in the methodology of this mid-term review is an online survey addressed to all Coalition Partners, CCAC actors, initiative implementers and other stakeholders outside the Coalition. The survey is open until 5 FEBRUARY 2015, and all answers are anonymous.

We welcome you to take the next few minutes to submit your answers by clicking on any of the links to the right. You may take the survey in either English or French.