By The Global Journal | June 4, 2012 - 11:00 GMT
At a Climate and Clean Air Coalition event in Stockholm yesterday (3 June), US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, addressed the issue of short-term pollutants in the presence of the Swedish Climate Ambassador, Anna Lindstedt, and Swedish Minister for the Environment, Lena Ek.
All participants noted that the stakes were high in controlling these specific pollutants, as they contributed to global warming and affected ecosystems, but only remained in the atmosphere for a period ranging from a few days to a few years. As a result, any reduction would have a nearly immediate effect on climate change.
Clinton pointed out that short-term pollutants represented more than “30 percent of current global warming”. She also explained that such emissions could be curbed at low cost, using “existing technologies”. Similarly, Ek suggested that such moves would present “a golden opportunity to slow down climate warming in the near term, even more so because [short-term pollutants] represent as much as a third of increases in average global temperature”. Reducing these emissions would slow short-term climate change, having an impact on up to “2.5 million lives per year”.
Both Clinton and Ek called for further action to be led by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, notably at this month’s Rio+20 Summit and a conference scheduled for July in Bangkok. In Rio, the coalition will work with cities by promoting joint initiatives to reduce methane and other pollutants from waste systems. It will also propose zero-cost options for oil and gas companies. In Bangkok, the coalition will focus on new technologies enabling the reduction of hydro-fluorocarbons in air conditioning and refrigeration material.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition was launched in 2011 by Sweden, the US, Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana and Mexico, together with the UN Environment Program.
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