In mid-February, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the launch of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, an initiative aimed at reducing warming agents that are known to be particularly harmful to human health and contribute significantly to global and regional warming. In less than four months the Coalition has nearly tripled in size, from the founding members - Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, the United States, and the United Nations Environment Programme - to now including all the G-8 countries, Norway, Nigeria, Denmark, Colombia, the World Bank, and the European Commission.
“The Climate and Clean Air Coalition is designed to get results for what are called . . . . short-lived climate pollutants, including methane, black carbon, and the hydro fluorocarbons,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit to Sweden in early June. “These pollutants are responsible for more than 30 percent of current global warming. And because they are also very harmful to human health and to agriculture, we can save millions of lives and tons of crops as well by acting now.”
Major reductions of these pollutants can be done inexpensively and with existing technologies, noted Secretary Clinton:
\“One third of all methane leaked and vented by oil and gas companies can be avoided at a net cost of zero dollars or zero kroner. So we need to convince decision makers everywhere, political leaders, CEOs, civil society leaders, investors, and students that this is one of those areas where we can show tangible progress almost immediately and that we can do it in a cost-effective way.”
In Sweden, Secretary Clinton announced the beginning of a global campaign to close the information gap about short-lived climate pollutants. “We, in fact, are going to be holding a global contest to find the best, most creative ideas for raising awareness about short-lived pollutants and the work that must be done to stop them. So I invite everyone to visit the coalition’s new website for further information. The address is www.UNEP.org/CCAC,” she said.
“We’ve already made progress on the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in less than four months,” said Secretary Clinton. “And we’re going to continue working closely with Sweden and our other partners. And we are determined to take aggressive action in the months ahead. We can do no less.”