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Summer, 2013

CCAC Welcomes New Head

Helena Molin ValdésOn the first of July, Helena Molin Valdés became the new Head of the CCAC Secretariat, taking over from Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Director of UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, who served very successfully as interim CCAC Head during the Coalition’s formative period.

Molin Valdés is an experienced leader within the United Nations system and a long-time proponent of sustainable development, climate change mitigation and adaption, and disaster reduction. She was instrumental in making the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) an important force in global disaster management, holding various positions since 2000, including Acting Director and Chief of Advocacy and Outreach. She developed and led the global campaign Making Cities Resilient, helped organize the World Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction in Kobe, Japan in 2005, and played a principal role in drafting and negotiating the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters. Out of the Hyogo Framework for Action emerged the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, which Molin Valdés helped establish.

Molin Valdés has authored, co-authored or coordinated many papers, handbooks, global reviews and reports on local development, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and resilience. She has worked extensively with both UNEP and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has organized and led international delegations and events, including at RIO+10, Rio +20 and several of the UNFCCC COPs.

Early in her career, Molin Valdés headed a Swedish development NGO, Association Nicarauac, some of whose work involved improving traditional brick production and cookstoves, a key focus for the CCAC. She is an architect by training, with a degree in architecture and urban development from Lund University. She speaks English, Spanish and Swedish

“We see [SLCPs] now as very strategic.”

Lucia Cortina CorreaAn interview with Lucia Cortina Correa, Director of Climate Change Mitigation Policy in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), Mexico

In 2012 Mexico became one of the few countries in the world to pass national climate change legislation. The landmark legislation brought together 13 ministries under the office of the President, along with civil society, the private sector and state and municipal governments, to create a national system to deal with climate change. The legislation mandated the development of policy instruments, such as a national strategy, a climate change program, a climate change fund, a national registry for emissions and reductions and a technical institute for climate change. Responding to the law, in June this year, new President Enrique Peña Nieto announced Estrategia Nacional de Cambio Climatico (National Climate Change Strategy) Vision 10-20-40, a national climate change strategy looking 10, 20 and 40 years into the future and intended to bring "green growth" to the country. The strategy sets out a vision for Mexico’s approach to climate change for the next 40 years and defines key lines of action to achieve it.

Mexico’s Director of Climate Change Mitigation Policy, Lucia Cortina Correa, was kind enough to spend a few minutes with the CCAC Newsletter to talk about Mexico’s view of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and their role in the country’s climate change strategy:

Read the full interview here...


Coming Soon

  • Working Group meeting, Mexico City, July 24-25
  • High Level Assembly, Oslo, Norway, September 3

Partners in Action

Cities meet to discuss municipal solid waste

From the newsletter of the Municipal Solid Waste initiative

More than 50 participants from all over the world met in March 2013 in Vancouver to discuss how far their cities have come, and how far they still have to travel, to eliminate SLCPs from municipal solid waste. The meeting was the first large-scale convening of the CCAC’s initiative to mitigate SLCPs from the municipal solid waste sector. The initiative has seen the completion of eight rapid assessments of waste management practices and challenges in cities from Latin America, Africa, and South East Asia.

CCAC Initiative to mitigate SLCPs from the municipal waste sector.
Representatives from the Center for Clean Air Policy, Municipality of Viña del Mar, US State Department, Sweden, Stockholm, and Chile, celebrating their achievements in Vancouver

The first city-to-city partnership was created between Viña del Mar and Stockholm during the two day MSW Initiative meeting in Vancouver, along with the first waste-related national government exchange between Chile and Sweden.
Over the course of two days, attendees saw examples of accomplishments that highlighted the power of cities to undertake significant actions towards improved waste management. Cities also discussed the challenges they face, from technical issues, such as improving organics collection, to policy issues, such as political and financial support for improved waste management.

The meeting demonstrated the convening power of the CCAC to bring together stakeholders at the municipal and national level, investors, project implementers, and policy makers.

Next Step: City Action Plans

To continue the momentum built over the past year, the initiative will now look to finalize City Action Plans and develop a work plan to match resources and expertise to the most critical needs. The initiative will not only work directly with the pilot cities, but will also scale up actions in multiple regions by fostering connections between cities.

The CCAC Municipal Solid Waste Initiative will provide a catalyzing force to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants across the municipal solid waste sector by providing and implementing a comprehensive collection of resources for cities, including technical assistance, information exchange, networking, and training.

The CCAC will work with cities to undertake a variety of efforts, including but not limited to capping and closing open dumps, capturing and utilizing landfill gas, and ensuring proper waste handling and organics management.

The Coalition at Work

Summaries and updates from the initiatives

The CCAC currently has nine active initiatives working to reduce SLCPs:

  1. Reducing black carbon emissions from heavy duty diesel vehicles and engines
    Nearly one-fifth of global black carbon emissions come from the transportation sector, with a relatively large share coming from “super emitters” – heavy duty diesel vehicles.
    The CCAC is working to reduce black carbon/particulate matter emissions in the freight transportation supply chain by engaging with the private sector; in urban areas through the implementation of city action plans; and in countries through the adoption of a range of measures for reducing sulphur in fuels and vehicle emissions. 
    The heavy-duty diesel initiative is working to create a Global Green Freight Declaration and Charter, which entails a market-based, public-private collaboration to accelerate the adoption of fuel-saving and emission-reducing technologies and operational strategies in the freight transportation supply chain. The goal of the initiative is for all countries to adopt low sulfur diesel standards (at least 50 ppm, preferably 10 ppm) as well as diesel vehicles standards, with the ultimate objective being EuroVI or comparable emissions targets.
  2. Mitigating black carbon and other pollutants from brick production
    Brick production is an important area where substantial emission reductions can be made for black carbon and other SLCPs.
    Cleaner brick production alternatives exist, including mechanized and high-energy-efficient technologies. The CCAC aims to elevate the importance of reducing SLCPs from inefficient brick production onto national governments’ agendas to catalyze political engagement. Through its Brick Kilns Task Force, CCAC partners are working in Mexico, Colombia, Bangladesh and other countries to leverage high-level political will in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa to identify possibilities for brick kiln mitigation and establish mechanisms to build capacity and implement priority options.
  3. Mitigating SLCPs from municipal solid waste
    Municipal landfills are the third largest source of methane globally, and open garbage burning emits black carbon and toxic compounds.
    The overarching goal of this initiative is to enable cities, with the support of their regional and national governments, to move along the waste hierarchy in a coordinated and cohesive manner in order to mitigate methane and black carbon emissions. The initiative is flexible and takes into account the different needs of cities to reach an optimal waste management system based on their specific circumstances. Work has started with ten cities, including Accra, Cali, Dhaka, Ho Chi Minh City, Lagos, New York City, Penang, Rio de Janeiro, Stockholm, and Viña del Mar, Chile, where assessments have been conducted in preparation of City Action Plans. The cities will act as ambassadors in their countries and regions for showcasing best practices and sharing lessons learned with other interested cities. The first city-to-city mentoring partnership was created between Stockholm and Viña del Mar.
  4. Accelerating methane and black carbon reductions from oil and natural gas production
    It is estimated that more than 8 per cent of total worldwide natural gas production is lost annually to venting, leakage, and flaring.
    The oil and gas sector is the second-largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions after agriculture, accounting for more than 20 per cent of all anthropogenic emissions of methane globally. It is also a source of black carbon.
    The CCAC is working with oil and gas companies to design mechanisms and voluntary commitments to achieve substantial global emission reductions. In January 2013, 12 ministers and UNEP’s Executive Director signed a joint statement outlining the importance and urgency of dealing with methane and black carbon emissions from the oil and gas sector, and inviting oil and gas companies to join forces in this effort. Several leading companies are currently engaging with CCAC Partners in discussions.
  5. Reducing SLCP emissions from household cooking and domestic heating
    The use of traditional cookstoves, heatstoves, and solid fuels by almost three billion people is having a catastrophic impact on the world’s health and climate, primarily through emissions of black carbon.
    Residential cooking and heating account for approximately 20 per cent of global black carbon emissions and contribute a significant share of ambient air pollution in the developing world. This share is expected to grow, as an increasing percentage of the solid fuels collected for cooking come from non-renewable sources. A number of recent studies demonstrate that wide-scale adoption of clean and efficient cookstoves, heatstoves, and fuels can mitigate climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions from non-sustainable harvesting of biomass, and by lowering emissions of SLCPs, such as methane and black carbon. The Coalition aims to speed the pace of reductions in emissions of SLCPs from the household cooking and heating sector in developing and developed countries.
  6. Promoting HFC alternative technology and standards
    HFC use has been growing rapidly in recent years on a global basis, driven by two major factors. First, as the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has placed restrictions on the use of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), HFCs have taken their place.  Second, there has been increased demand in developing countries for refrigeration and air conditioning, along with growth in industrial sectors such as foam blowing and solvents.  In some applications, countries and companies rely on high-global-warming-potential (GWP) HFCs to replace ODS.  Left unconstrained, HFCs are projected to grow to as much as 19 per cent of emissions of CO2 by 2050. 
    This initiative provides a platform for cooperative activities between governments, the private sector and other stakeholders for developing and deploying climate-friendly, energy-efficient alternatives and technologies, minimizing HFC leaks through responsible management, and encouraging recovery, recycling, reclamation, and eventual destruction of high-GWP HFCs. HFC inventories are being developed in a number of developing countries (Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria), and case studies on specific sectors are underway. Private sector and policymaker roundtables, development of a knowledge platform and technology demonstrations are planned.
  7. Promoting SLCP National Action Plans (SNAP)
    The CCAC is providing support to governments to integrate SLCPs into national planning frameworks and processes.
    The initiative is designed to complement the Coalition’s sectoral initiatives. Its main objective is to promote rapid and large-scale implementation of SLCP mitigation at the national level through integration of SLCPs into relevant national planning processes and other frameworks. Work is underway in four pilot countries—Bangladash, Colombia, Ghana and Mexico —and regional dialogues have been convened, raising awareness of the issues in Africa, Asia and Latin America. An initial “emission scenario and benefits assessment toolkit” has also been developed, providing modeling techniques to rapidly give quantitative estimates for emission scenarios, climate and clean air benefits. A guidance document on good practice in national planning for action on SLCPs has also been created, and three regional inter-governmental consultations have been conducted on near-term climate change and clean air protection.
  8. Financing SLCP mitigation
    The CCAC is working to bolster financial flows toward SLCP reductions.
    At the April 2012 High Level Assembly meeting in Stockholm, CCAC ministers agreed that the CCAC should have a cross-cutting financing initiative to help scale up financing flows, with the Coalition as a catalyst. The initiative would address a number of issues, such as financing gaps, lack of implementation of low-cost mitigation options, facilitating access to existing mechanisms and the creation new ones.
    The initiative aims to support the creation of tailored finance strategies for each sectoral initiative, mobilize and make available a roster of technical and financial experts, convene ad-hoc working groups (or “innovation labs”) to devise innovative financing solutions, prepare policy toolkits for government stakeholders, and design and implement an outreach strategy to engage large players, such as national, bi- and multi-lateral development banks and private sector stakeholders.
  9. Regional assessment of SLCPs
    Recognizing the need for developing a regional SLCP consultation, integrated assessment and engagement process, the Coalition Working Group decided in March 2013 to fund an initial assessment of Latin America and the Caribbean, which is about to start. The assessment will be used as a test in order to consider if and how many future assessments will be undertaken.

CCAC in the news

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants is a voluntary partnership uniting governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society and the private sector in the first global effort to treat short-lived climate pollutants as an urgent and collective challenge. The Coalition’s Secretariat is hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme, with all decisions made by partners through a Working Group and High-Level Assemblies.

The work of the Coalition is built around its initiatives, which address the various hort-lived climate pollutants, or SLCPs, including black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Reducing these pollutants can prevent a significant proportion of the estimated 6 million deaths annually from air-pollution related disease, avoid annual crop losses of over 30 million tons annually, and slow near-term global warming by up to 0.5⁰ C (2010-2050).

Actions to reduce SLCPs must be complemented by immediate deep and persistent cuts in carbon dioxide emissions if temperature increases over the 21st century are to be held below 2°C. The Coalition sees its work as complementary to the global action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Approximately US$ 36 million has been pledged to the Coalition Trust Fund for 2012-2015, of which approximately US$ 20 million has been deposited with UNEP and is supporting the Secretariat and activities under the initiatives.

Current funding comes from the following countries:

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