Volume 172 Number 44 | Thursday, 13 December 2018
Summary of the 10th High Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition
Tuesday, 11 December 2018 | Katowice, Poland
The 10th High-Level Assembly (HLA) of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Live Climate Pollutants (CCAC) convened in Katowice, Poland, on Tuesday 11 December 2018, in parallel with the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The HLA was attended by high-level representatives of governments and international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Assembly addressed the importance of reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) to combat climate change.
The HLA also provided the opportunity to:
- Share views on how to increase climate ambition, taking into account the co-benefits for clean air;
- Endorse the CCAC Talanoa Statement and Joint Statement; and
- Launch the CCAC Action Programme to Address the 1.5°C Challenge.
In the closing session, delegates launched the Action Programme, with many countries also endorsing the Talanoa Statement, which commits to global actions to mitigate SLCPs to avoid 0.6°C of warming between now and 2050.
Several participants also proposed further ways for the Coalition to ramp up its engagement in the climate and development spheres, with some making financial pledges and others calling on the Coalition to undertake work to address other greenhouse gases (GHGs).
A Brief History of the CCAC
The CCAC is a voluntary international coalition of governments, international organizations, private sector representatives and NGOs, and aims to: reduce emissions of SLCPs; avoid millions of premature deaths; promote food and energy security; and address near-term climate change.
The CCAC was established in February 2012 by Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the US, together with UN Environment (UNEP). It is open to countries and non-state actors, and currently has 132 Partners consisting of 61 countries, 17 intergovernmental organizations and 54 NGOs. In 2018, it also launched a Platform for Subnational Action to Reduce SLCPs, starting with the State of California.
SLCPs include black carbon, methane (precursor to tropospheric ozone) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These pollutants have a near-term warming influence on the climate, and, in many cases, are also harmful air pollutants that affect human health, agriculture and ecosystems. The CCAC’s objectives include raising awareness of the impacts and transformative mitigation strategies of SLCPs. It also seeks to: enhance and develop new national and regional actions; promote best practices and showcase successful efforts; and improve scientific understanding of SLCP impacts and mitigation strategies.
Initiatives: The CCAC works on 11 initiatives, of which seven are sectoral and four are cross-cutting. Its seven sectoral initiatives include:
- Bricks (mitigating SLCPs and other pollutants from brick production);
- Diesel (reducing black carbon emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and engines);
- HFCs (promoting HFC-alternative technologies and standards);
- Household energy (reducing SLCPs from household cooking and domestic heating);
- Oil and Gas (accelerating methane and black carbon reductions from oil and natural gas production); and
- Waste (mitigating SLCPs from municipal solid waste).
The CCAC’s four cross-cutting initiatives address: financing mitigation of SLCPs; regional assessments; supporting national action planning on SLCPs; and health.
Governance Structure: The CCAC governance structure includes the HLA, Working Group, Steering Committee, Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) and Secretariat.
The HLA consists of ministers of State Partners and Heads of non-state Partners, and meets at least once a year to provide strategic guidance and leadership to the CCAC, including setting policy, taking stock of progress and initiating future efforts. The Working Group includes focal points from each CCAC Partner, and convenes at least twice a year to oversee activities.
The Steering Committee is composed of the two CCAC Co-Chairs and up to six State Partners, two representatives of international organizations and two NGO representatives. The Steering Committee meets monthly to provide oversight support and recommendations to the HLA and the Working Group. The SAP consists of 15 scientists, including, ex-officio, UN Environment’s Chief Scientist. The CCAC Secretariat is hosted by UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics in Paris, France.
Recent Meetings: The Eighth HLA convened in Marrakech, Morocco, on 14 November 2016, in parallel with UNFCCC COP 22. The Assembly addressed implementation of the Paris Agreement, seeking to take advantage of the growing momentum to reduce SLCPs. It proposed specific action on methane in the oil and gas sector, and on black carbon in the transport sector, as well as the development of national black carbon inventories.
The 20th Meeting of the CCAC Working Group took place from 26-27 April 2017, in Santiago, Chile. Participants: set priorities for 2017 and 2018 to ramp up efforts to reduce SLCPs, especially black carbon; planned for the 2017 HLA; agreed on follow-up actions on previous HLA commitments; decided on future funding for initiatives; and showcased action to access financing for projects and the CCAC Trust Fund.
The 21st meeting of the CCAC Working Group took place from 25-26 September 2017, in Paris, France. During the meeting, participants: discussed preparations for the November HLA; considered the CCAC objective to ‘leverage finance at scale’ and the draft CCAC finance strategy; and deliberated on next steps in addressing the proposed Pathway Approach for SLCPs.
The 22nd meeting of the CCAC Working Group took place from 17-20 April, 2018, in Toronto, Canada, in conjunction with the Global Methane Forum and the Coalition’s Science Policy Dialogue. During the meeting, the Working Group allocated an additional USD 6 million toward Coalition initiatives.
The 23rd meeting of the CCAC Working Group took place from 8-12 October, 2018, in Bangkok, Thailand, and included the second Climate and Clean Air Solutions marketplace.
The Ninth HLA convened in Bonn, Germany, on Tuesday 14 November 2017, in parallel with UNFCCC COP 23. High-level representatives of governments and international and non-governmental organizations attended the Assembly. The HLA addressed the importance of reducing SLCPs to combat climate change, including through specific calls for action on agriculture and municipal solid waste, and adopted the ‘Bonn Communiqué.’
CCAC Working Group Co-Chair, Alice Kaudia, chaired the meeting, calling on the HLA to endorse the CCAC Talanoa Statement. On behalf of Poland’s State Secretary and COP 24 President, Kinga Majewska, Deputy Director, Department of Air Protection and Climate, Ministry of the Environment, Poland, opened the meeting, noting that, while political agreements are important, we need to “bring life into these agreements at the national level.”
David Paul, Minister of Environment, Marshall Islands, stressed that surpassing the 1.5°C target will have irreversible consequences, and called for quick and effective action. Emphasizing that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recognized the need to address SLCPs to deal with climate change in the short term, he noted that technologies exist to do the job effectively but that there is a lack of political will. He underlined the need for methodologies to address SLCPs, and pointed to the Marshall Islands’ strategy to address climate pollutants. He also drew attention to the country’s electricity roadmap, and stressed the need for partnering to set an example, calling for countries to be “bold and brave” to step up actions that address SLCPs and climate change.
Satya Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNEP’s New York office, spoke on the urgency of action, noting that the HLA is a unique space where impactful action originates. He drew attention to warnings contained in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, and noted that UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report explains that to match the ambitions of the IPCC report, a five-fold increase in ambition is required to reduce emissions. Stating that the challenge is enormous, he called for “us to stop thinking in silos” and work on an integrated approach to address climate change. Tripathi noted that the solutions to pollution exist, and called on donor countries to bolster their efforts to ensure that the world can stay below 2°C warming.
Ola Elvestuen, Minister for Climate and Environment, Norway, stressed that the IPCC report shows the gravity of the situation and points to the urgency of quick action, and highlighted the difference between a 1.5°C and 2°C world, further stressing the need for transitions in all sectors to reduce emissions. Elvestuen said that success in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing climate change will depend on choosing a path that addresses SLCPs to improve air quality, health and climate change. As leaders, he said, the message must be that warming in the near-term is important, and that action is being taken to address it.
Rachel Kyte, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, noted that COP 24 is a critical step in our collective efforts to raise ambition, acknowledging that the CCAC is known for its ambition. She drew attention to the importance of providing energy efficient cooling solutions. Highlighting the mounting sense of urgency for concrete action, she called for:
- financing and deploying low-carbon solutions;
- investing in zero-carbon technology solutions; and
- thinking systematically about how to meet people’s needs cost effectively, without HFCs.
Progress and Success
Calling attention to the CCAC Awards, Emmanuel de Guzman, Secretary of Climate Change, Climate Change Commission, the Philippines, noted that they represent a range of projects and individual efforts to reduce air and climate pollutants, and recognize solutions to reduce SLCP emissions. He said his country is pursuing a low-carbon development pathway and endorsing the CCAC Action Programme for 2018. He reiterated that the Philippines will continue the rapid deployment of electric vehicles, as well as shifting to renewable energy, and raising national awareness on the reduction of PM2.5 carbon to promote health. He called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to address the level of emissions from the region. He noted that the CCAC has 25 solutions to address air quality, and called on countries in the region to endorse and mainstream them to address air quality.
CCAC Working Group Co-Chair Kaudia called on countries to present their ideas on how to enhance ambition, as well as how the HLA can contribute to enhancing ambition.
James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change, New Zealand, discussed methane in agriculture, noting the anxiety surrounding this issue in broader discussions. He said that the country has realized that an opportunity exists to increase food production as well as reduce methane emissions. He invited interested countries to join the CCAC’s Agriculture Initiative, and called on the Coalition to establish an earmarked fund for its work on agriculture. He underscored that, in light of the IPCC report, the CCAC has an important role to play in promoting global action through addressing SLCPs and in enhancing ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and endorsed the CCAC Action Programme. He noted that New Zealand aims to ratify, by 2020, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which addresses phasing down HFCs, noting national regulatory work to encourage a smooth transition.
Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment, Chile, noted that additional efforts are required to address climate change, including by reducing SLCPs. She emphasized the importance of addressing SLCPs in the transport, energy and residential sectors, and said that Chile is working on a proposal to mitigate black carbon. Noting that 10 million people in Chile suffer from health impacts related to SLCPs, she stressed that mitigating gases produced by cooling is a common challenge and must be addressed.
Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said that the WMO has signed agreements with the World Health Organization and UN Environment to deal with air quality issues that impact health. Highlighting the need to mitigate air quality and climate change challenges through focusing on transforming the energy and transport sectors, he said the major challenge relates to transformation of the energy sector, which is still mostly based on fossil fuels. He said SLCPs are part of the problem, but stressed that carbon dioxide (CO2) is still the major challenge, calling for joint mitigation of both.
Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment, Rwanda, underlined that a key success of Coalition members was work being done on the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Noting that the CCAC has the opportunity to enhance the efficiency of the cooling sector while lowering GHG emissions, he pointed out that making cooling more efficient would save more than USD 2.9 trillion. He then announced that his country is proposing a CCAC Cooling Initiative to unlock finance, activate markets and enhance political will for energy efficiency in the cooling sector.
Yasuo Takahashi, Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Japan, welcomed the WMO report on air pollution, noting his country’s concern related to air pollution levels in the region. He drew attention to the launch of GOSAT II, Japan’s Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite, which will monitor CO2 emissions from space.
Statements by Partners: Belgium noted that initiatives such as CCAC are imperative to make the difference between the 1.5°C and 2°C scenario. He pointed to his country’s engagement in the BreatheLife Campaign, and said the CCAC could concentrate on addressing emissions in the transport sector by encouraging biking and walking.
Morocco noted that the IPCC report is clear and alarming, stating that the socio-economic effects will greatly impact the most vulnerable. She noted that environmental action in the country includes a strategy to implement renewable energy, with 52% renewables for electricity by 2030. She noted her country’s commitment to reduce black carbon, with a national programme (2018-2030) to improve air quality through extending air quality measurements, raising awareness, and providing tax incentives for clean fuel. She called for the CCAC to respond to the needs of developing countries, through the provision of capacity building and awareness creation.
The Netherlands highlighted the country’s priorities: a focus on the circular economy to address CO2 emissions; driving down SLCP emissions to promote health; and sustainable transport and mobility, noting that by 2030 the goal is to only drive zero-emission cars. She noted that the country will invest Euro 350 million for cycling lanes, which will be at the heart of the country’s urban plan.
Paraguay pointed to the country’s legal framework for education, which contains air quality issues. He noted that in 2019, the country’s Ministry of Environment will create a mechanism to address methane and SLCPs to reduce the use of black carbon. He highlighted the Paraguay’s use of hydro-electric dams to provide charging stations for electric vehicles. He called on all partners to help protect the country’s forests, noting that the country has a large forest cover but few forestry officers,.
Sweden noted that CCAC is an action-oriented coalition, which needs to focus on catalytic action for instance in communicating science on SLCPs. She said that the CCAC is in line with the IPCC, and called on the Coalition to work with the IPCC to ensure SLCPs continue to be on the agenda. She also highlighted the need for partnering with the private sector to promote a fossil-free global economy.
Monaco announced a financial contribution of Euro 500,000 over two years to promote the actions of the CCAC. He noted that his government measures air quality regularly, and stressed that the country will continue its support for the Coalition.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN said that FAO’ s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World outlines that malnutrition is on the rise. She stressed the need to take immediate action on global warming, noting that if we do not, ending hunger will become impossible. She reiterated her organization’s commitment to assisting countries on finding common solutions.
Finland supported the CCAC Action Programme and announced a Euro 200,000 contribution to the CCAC Trust Fund. He also noted a multi-million dollar package to address black carbon in the Arctic.
Canada reminded delegates that the CCAC addresses all SLCPs, which in turn delivers multiple benefits for health, clean air, climate change and development, and noted support for the CCAC Work Programme, which will build support for the 2019 Climate Summit.
Colombia reported on national actions, including the country’s plan to ratify the Kigali Amendment. He highlighted the development of his country’s first black carbon strategy, noted the commitment to transition to electric vehicles to address SLCPs in the transport sector, and called attention to SLCPs in brick kilns.
The World Bank:
- reiterated support for the CCAC, noting the Bank’s ambitious climate targets;
- highlighted that the Bank is working on human development and health and education, all related to clean air;
- stressed the need for partnerships on NDCs to ensure the SLCP agenda is firmly in place; and
- called attention to the need for action on cooling.
Côte d’Ivoire noted the CCAC’s support for monitoring air quality, which is helping the country to significantly reduce black carbon by 2050; announced the launch of a national plan to enhance NDC ambition; and endorsed the CCAC Action Programme.
On the CCAC’s path forward, Mexico recommended, inter alia: increasing efforts to trigger high ambitions at the highest political level; providing options for action on climate change; setting up a results framework; and articulating a broad regional dialogue to inform decision making and inspired actions.
Calling for additional funding to address SLCPs in the country, Ghana reiterated commitments to the CCAC, highlighting national actions to address SLCPs, such as:
- distributing LPG gas in rural areas;
- establishing a technical desk to coordinate implementation of SLCP actions;
- training officials to use long-term planning tools to reduce SLCPs; and
- introducing electric buses for mass public transport to reduce diesel use.
France expressed her country’s commitment to address climate change and SLCPs, noting a national vision on transport, which will involve behavior change, and said that the population needs to be supported in this regard. She also called attention to emissions due to agriculture, noting that legislation has been enacted to phase out equipment containing HFCs, and called on the CCAC to address cooling in buildings.
Nigeria appreciated the work of the Coalition, noting his country’s national action plan to address SLCPs, which has been mainstreamed into national planning, including NDC and SDG implementation in his country. He called on the Coalition to take action on efficient cooling in buildings.
The State of California, a new member of the Coalition, noted her state’s efforts to deal with SLCPs as part of the plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. She also called attention to California’s work with NASA on the launch of a satellite to monitor methane and other SLCPs, calling on the CCAC to participate in this effort.
The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development noted that the IPCC report points to the need for action on SLCPs, and called on the CCAC to be at the center of addressing SLCPs, other climate pollutants and sustainable development.
The Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development said that the CCAC said the Coalition must work on enhancing efficiency in the cooling sector, suggesting an energy cooling initiative to address this.
The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies prioritized: turning the climate narrative positive; capitalizing on reducing SLCPs; and deepening knowledge through co-creative processes to develop solution pathways that work.
UN-Habitat endorsed the Talanoa Statement and the Action Programme, and announced that climate change and clean air will be a key priority for UN-Habitat for the 2020-2050 period.
The World Resources Institute stressed the need to turn actions and commitments into a movement of change on climate and clean air, and announced that WRI will invest in providing technical expertise to put SLCPs firmly on the climate and development agendas.
Launch of a ‘CCAC Action Programme to Address the 1.5°C Challenge’
Calling for additional finances to fund the work of the Coalition, Marc Chardonnens, State Secretary, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland, welcomed the endorsement of the Talanoa Statement, encouraged delegates to be active in the future work of the Coalition, and said the CCAC Action Programme will support national action plans.
Rodolfo Lacy, Environment Director, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, lauded the CCAC Action Programme, noting that it provides a roadmap to address SLCPs, and called for:
- high level political ambition;
- technical support and assistance to translate technicalities into action; and
- science and analytical support to spur decisive and immediate action.
Chardonnens then launched the CCAC Action Programme to Address the 1.5°C Challenge, noting that the “hard work starts now.” He closed the meeting at 6:26 pm.
Expert Group Meeting on SDG 13: SDG 13 (climate action) will be reviewed in depth at the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). As part of this review, an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on climate action will help inform the HLPF, assist in planning its sessions, and serve to influence collaborations and programmes of work going forward from 2019. This EGM is part of a series of preparatory meetings for the SDGs under review. dates: 4-6 March 2019 location: Copenhagen, Kobenhavn, Denmark www: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2019#preparation
Africa Climate Week 2019: Africa Climate Week (ACW) 2019 will convene in the lead-up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September 2019. Participants will focus on how engagement between Parties and non-Party stakeholders can be further strengthened in key sectors for Africa, including energy, agriculture and human settlements. The event will also showcase the role of future carbon markets to enhance climate action towards achieving of sustainable development, and seek to facilitate implementation of countries’ NDCs and SDG 13. ACW is organized by the Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP), which supports developing countries in preparing and implementing their NDCs. dates: 18-22 March 2019 location: Accra, Ghana www: https://unfccc.int/news/2019-dates-announced-for-africa-climate-week and https://nfpartnership.org/
49th Session of the IPCC: The 49th session of the IPCC (IPCC 49) is expected to approve the Methodology Report: 2009 Refinement of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. dates: 8-12 May 2019 location: Kyoto, Japan www: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/2019-refinement-to-the-2006-ipcc-guidelines-for-national-greenhouse-gas-inventories/
49th Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies: The 49th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies will meet from 17-27 June 2019. dates: 17-27 June 2019 venue: World Conference Center Bonn location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: (49-228) 815-1000 fax: (49-228) 815-1999 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: www.unfccc.int
41st Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol: OEWG 41 of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is scheduled to convene from 1-5 July 2019, in Bangkok, Thailand. dates: 1-5 July 2019 location: Bangkok, Thailand www: http://ozone.unep.org/en/meetings
50th Session of the IPCC: IPCC-50 is expected to approve the Special Report on Climate Change and Land (SRCCL). dates: 13-17 August (TBD) location: TBD www: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srccl/
51st Session of the IPCC: IPCC-51 is expected to approve the Special Report on The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). dates: 20-23 September location: Monaco www: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srocc/
UN 2019 Climate Summit: The UN 2019 Climate Summit will convene under the theme ‘A Race We Can Win. A Race We Must Win,’ and seek to challenge states, regions, cities, companies, investors and citizens to step up action in six areas: energy transition, climate finance and carbon pricing, industry transition, nature-based solutions, cities and local action, and resilience. The Summit will build on the outcomes of the Global Climate Action Summit, the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and COP 24 to the UNFCCC, among others. date: 23 September 2019 location: New York City, US www: http://www.un.org/climatechange/index.shtml