Summary report, 20 May 2015
6th High-Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC)
The High Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) took place on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. Approximately 120 participants attended the meeting.
The key issues considered included a framework for the CCAC 5-Year Strategic Plan. The High Level Assembly endorsed the framework (HLA/MAY2015/03), which will be developed into a detailed implementing and planning instrument. The objective is to launch the plan at the next High Level Assembly that will be held on the margins of the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP 21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Paris, France, in December.
Other issues on the agenda included an update on progress, including the CCAC’s achievements to date and the launch of a new report by the Black Carbon Finance Study Group. Delegates also considered the Lima-Paris Action Agenda and support for the “Road to Paris” strategy prepared by the CCAC Working Group. The Assembly welcomed the Philippines as a new partner, bringing the total number of CCAC partners to 104.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CCAC
The CCAC is a voluntary international coalition of governments, international organizations, the private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which focuses on addressing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). The CCAC was created in February 2012 by Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the US, together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). It is open to countries and non-state actors, and currently has 104 partners consisting of 47 country partners and 57 non-state partners.
SLCPs include black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and some 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 objectives of the CCAC include raising awareness of 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 has approved 11 Initiatives. Its seven sectoral Initiatives include:
• accelerating methane and black carbon reductions from oil and natural gas production;
• addressing SLCPs from agriculture;
• mitigating SLCPs and other pollutants from brick production;
• mitigating SLCPs from municipal solid waste;
• promoting HFC alternative technology and standards;
• reducing black carbon emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines; and
• reducing SLCPs from household cooking and domestic heating.
The CCAC also has four cross-cutting Initiatives on: financing mitigation of SLCPs; regional assessments of SLCPs; supporting national planning for action on SLCPs; and urban health.
GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE: The CCAC institutional structure includes the High-level Assembly (HLA), Working Group, Steering Committee, Scientific Advisory Panel and Secretariat.
The HLA consists of ministers of state partners and heads of non-state partners. It meets at least once a year to provide strategic guidance and leadership to the CCAC. The Working Group includes focal points from each CCAC partner. It convenes at least twice a year to oversee activities.
The CCAC also has a Steering Committee composed of the two Working Group Co-Chairs, four state partners, one representative of international organizations and two NGO representatives. The Steering Committee meets every month to provide oversight support and recommendations to the HLA and Working Group. Current members of the Steering Committee are the two co-chairs from Chile and Norway, plus Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, the Netherlands, the United States, the World Bank, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.
The CCAC Secretariat is hosted by UNEP in its Division of Technology, Industry and Economics in Paris, France. The Scientific Advisory Panel consists of 14 scientists, including ex-officio, the UNEP Chief Scientist.
REPORT OF THE CCAC HIGH LEVEL ASSEMBLY
The CCAC High Level Assembly opened on Wednesday morning, 20 May 2015. Co-Chair Tine Sundtoft, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway, welcomed participants. She highlighted the Philippines as the latest partner joining the CCAC, bringing the total number of partners to 104.
Co-Chair Sundtoft recognized the importance of the year 2015 for climate policy and identified the CCAC’s draft 5-Year Strategic Plan as a crucial step in scaling up action on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).
Delegates heard a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressing that SLCPs are now seen as an essential complement to the aggressive mitigation action needed to combat climate change. The UN Secretary-General thanked the CCAC for its contribution to his 2014 Climate Summit and highlighted the importance for the Coalition to contribute to the 2015 climate agreement and sustainable development goals, showing practical solutions.
Co-Chair Sundtoft noted that the HLA is taking place in the margins of the World Health Assembly. Maria Neira, World Health Organization (WHO), stressed the importance of air quality, noting the estimated 4.3 million annual deaths caused by indoor air pollution and 3.7 million by exposure to outdoor air pollution. She highlighted that engaging the health sector provides “enormous opportunities” and drew attention to a draft World Health Assembly resolution on air quality and health, proposed for adoption this week.
UPDATE ON PROGRESS
On highlights from CCAC achievements to date and scaling up, CCAC Working Group Co-Chair Hanne Bjurstrøm, Norway, drew attention to science showing that the CCAC’s work to address SLCPs is based on estimation of how the full implementation of a number of counter measures could slow down climate change by 0.6°C by 2050. She noted that the CCAC is working closely with the current and upcoming UNFCCC COP Presidencies of Peru and France to enhance the Lima-Paris Action Agenda.
Noting that the CCAC has a total of 104 partners, Bjurstrøm recognized that the coalition lacks some major SLCP emitters and expressed interest in adding new partners, including BRICS countries: Brazil, India, China and South Africa.
Bjurstrøm emphasized the importance of scaling up good practices and mobilizing robust support for the CCAC’s work, mentioning the Breathe Life campaign and the green freight programme, as examples. Underscoring the need to leverage finance for SLCPs, she noted a new study on carbon finance for black carbon and the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Mitigation.
Noting total CCAC funding received of US$52million, Bjurstrøm stressed that 80% is for activities and most has already been allocated to initiatives. She underlined that new funding is needed for additional activities and to implement the 5-Year Strategic Plan.
Partners then reported on progress made to address SLCPs at home.
Chile reported on, inter alia, two new taxes integrating climate change and air pollution, including a tax to be introduced in 2018 in the power sector, 10% of which will be based on local air pollution and 90% on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Chile also underscored initiatives to improve air quality in cities and noted that its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) under the UNFCCC will include black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and methane.
Australia underscored a new emission reductions fund, expressing hope that it will provide lessons for other countries looking to reduce methane and HFC emissions. She explained that the fund issues carbon credits to participants undertaking projects that are based on approved methods and independently assessed.
The US highlighted actions by the Environmental Protection Agency, including: a proposal to cut pollution from new and existing power plants under the Clean Air Act; a proposal to amend the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer regarding HFCs; fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles; and a strategy to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector.
The World Bank underscored commitment to work internally and with external partners to reduce SLCP emissions. He highlighted the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Mitigation, saying it has already raised US$53 million. He stressed black carbon finance as critical to avoiding near-term warming and delivering local benefits.
The World Bank also reported on the work of the CCAC Black Carbon Finance Study Group to catalyze investment in black carbon abatement, saying it confirms that there are technically feasible measures that have not been fully utilized. Co-Chair Sundtoft declared the launch of the new report by the Black Carbon Finance Study Group.
SCALING UP ACTION
Co-Chair Marcelo Mena, Vice-Minister of the Environment, Chile, underscored the 5-Year Strategic Plan as the HLA’s most important task.
Drew Shindell, CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel, stressed that staying below the two-degree climate target necessitates addressing both CO2 and SLCPs. He highlighted, inter alia, that black carbon and methane (precursor to tropospheric ozone) have important health impacts. He added that limiting warming by 0.5° by reducing black carbon and methane emissions is different in terms of total societal benefits from achieving the same climate impact with CO2 emission reductions, for example, because crop losses from ozone are significant, while CO2 serves as a fertilizer. He underscored the need for economic analysis that takes into consideration climate impacts as well as public health and crop productivity effects.
Andy Haines, CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel, discussed health effects of SLCPs, underscoring elemental black carbon and ground-level ozone. He highlighted: direct health benefits from reduced air pollution; indirect health benefits, including through improved crop yields; and health benefits from encouraging active travel activities in the transport sector.
Haines also emphasized emission implications of dietary choices, saying that fruits and vegetables produce lower emissions and improve health. He underscored that moving to a WHO-recommended healthy diet in the UK has the potential to cut emissions by 20% and enhance life-expectancy.
On the framework for the 5-Year Strategic Plan (HLA/MAY2015/03), Co-Chair Mena explained that the plan is tabled for the HLA’s endorsement and that its operational aspects being developed later. He drew attention to a mid-term review of the CCAC by an independent consultant, which commended work to raise awareness of SLCPs while identifying the need for the CCAC to do more to demonstrate impacts.
Co-Chair for the CCAC Task Force on the Plan Jane Nishida, the US, discussed core elements of the framework for the 5-Year Strategic Plan. She identified a strategic focus on polices, regulations and practices of partners and stakeholders to deliver substantial SLCP reductions in the near- and medium-term.
Nishida stressed the importance of catalyzing ambitious action, including through peer-to-peer cooperation, and mobilizing robust support, including through CCAC participation in key forums and increasing visibility of SLCPs in the media. On leveraging finance at scale, she proposed, inter alia, working with national development agencies and development banks to mainstream SLCPs into development planning. Nishida underscored that the CCAC will aim to connect project proponents and financiers to demonstrate that SLCP projects are bankable.
On the way forward, Nishida said that following endorsement of the framework for Plan, a detailed but flexible planning instrument will be developed with effective operational arrangements for implementation. She announced that the US will contribute US$4 million to the CCAC Trust Fund for the Plan’s implementation.
Many partners expressed support for the Plan. Supported by Sweden, the US and International Climate Change Partnership, Canada suggested that the HLA issue a statement on HFCs and the Montreal Protocol, supporting, inter alia, the establishment of a contact group in July 2015 to: consider HFC phase-out amendment proposals submitted by various parties; and to showcase the alternatives and progress on public procurement cold chain council launched at the Climate Summit last year.
Japan noted his country’s annual contribution of US$2.5 million to the CCAC, saying this year’s budget also includes this amount. He expressed willingness to work with the Philippines on waste management at the city level.
Nigeria noted her country’s proposal for an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) working group on SLCPs and proposed that the CCAC take action to turn Nepal’s recent earthquake tragedy into an opportunity to address SLCPs through rebuilding with cleaner bricks. Sweden reported on activities on sustainable waste in Latin America as a way to contribute to the plan.
Côte d’Ivoire stressed the importance of waste initiatives and finance. Australia highlighted indicators to measure emission reductions generated through actions. Norway called for a detailed implementation plan that specifies intended actions and identified the need to measure the impact of the CCAC’s work. She pledged US$1 million to the Trust Fund.
Business for Social Responsibility stressed the importance of business-to-business interactions and drew attention to the “We Mean Business” coalition seeking to encourage governments to sign up to an ambitious Paris agreement.
UN Economic Commission for Europe highlighted, inter alia, the revision of the Gothenburg Protocol to the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution with respect to fine particulate matter, including black carbon. He drew attention to the Arctic Council’s action on SLCPs and stressed the need for cooperation among international organizations.
UN Habitat characterized SLCPs as “a very powerful tool for a mayor” as the issue can be linked with local people’s concerns over air quality and waste management in a very practical manner. She also called for strong presence of the Coalition agenda at the 2016 Habitat-III conference.
Switzerland identified the need for a global emission reduction target to serve as a clear benchmark for the CCAC’s achievements. The UK noted the importance of organizing the HLA on the margins of the World Health Assembly, identifying health as an important domestic driver for SLCP emission reductions.
Colombia underscored technology transfer, and announced that her country has developed an HFC inventory with CCAC that will be integrated into the low-carbon development strategy and is working to reduce emissions from hydrocarbon production and refineries.
Kenya emphasized the CCAC’s importance for developing countries and highlighted that a policy and bill for climate change has already passed the Kenyan Parliament and is now with the Senate. He noted efforts by Eastern African countries to improve diesel quality.
Liberia drew attention to her country’s lessons from dealing with the Ebola outbreak, including that working at the community level is very important and that people on the ground must take ownership of the process.
The HLA agreed to endorse the framework for Plan and agreed on the preparation of a detailed implementation plan that would include methods for demonstrating impact. The HLA also requested the SAP to provide an analysis to underpin the ambition of the Plan, building on the existing body of science, to quantify the achievable multiple benefits of fast action on SLCPs.
LIMA-PARIS ACTION AGENDA AND ROAD TO PARIS
Co-Chair Ibrahim Thiaw, Deputy Executive Director, UNEP, highlighted COP 21 in Paris as an important milestone. He underscored SLCPs as a business opportunity, calling for incentives for businesses to take action. He emphasized the importance of renewable energy investments, highlighted Africa’s important potential for renewables and proposed that the CCAC build bridges with those acting on renewable energy.
Co-Chair Thiaw described the Lima-Paris Action Agenda launched by Peru, France, the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN General Assembly as an opportunity to showcase concrete actions that mitigate climate change, especially before 2020 when the Paris agreement is expected to enter into force.
Communications Group Co-Chair France Jacovella, Canada, discussed progress with the CCAC Road to Paris strategy prepared by the CCAC Working Group (HLA/MAY2015/04). She emphasized informing the Paris talks with the idea that “quick action brings quick results” and highlighting multiple benefits from SLCP emission reductions, including their potential to slow down warming.
Jacovella identified launching the 5-Year Strategic Plan on the margins of COP 21 as the key deliverable and outlined other objectives, including that: every COP 21 participant leaves with a better understanding of SLCPs; commitment to increasing pre-2020 ambition is demonstrated by showcasing results and launching the 5-Year Strategic Plan; engagement of key countries and private sector actors is increased through targeted outreach; and countries are encouraged to include SLCPs in their INDCs and statements. She called for building on the CCAC’s success at the UN Secretary-General’s 2014 Climate Summit and noted plans to create an official side event at COP 21 and to seek to have a thematic day on short-lived climate pollutants.
France described the incoming COP Presidency’s plans for COP21, including a full day dedicated to action-oriented solutions. He highlighted the importance of transformational actions and multi-partner solutions. He commended the CCAC’s role in finding solutions through diversity and identified potential for the CCAC to interact with Workstream 2 (pre-2020 ambition) of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP).
The Russian Federation drew attention to his country’s recent INDC and participation in the Arctic Council’s activities on SLCPs, including the Task Force for Action on Methane and Black Carbon. He noted a recent meeting in Moscow by environment ministers of BRICS countries with participation by UNEP’s Executive Director, where they had promoted the work of CCAC. He emphasized the importance to enhance science as a critical part of the 5 year strategic plan.
Mexico highlighted his country’s INDC as “ambitious for a developing country,” saying it includes a goal for black carbon emission reductions. Calling for an urgent and effective response, including financial resources, the Central African Republic explained that his country’s population suffers from the effects of SLCP emissions, including those caused by diesel, bricks and open burning of solid and agricultural waste.
Sweden called for recruiting new partners and communicating the potential of SLCPs to contribute to narrow down the emissions gap at the UNFCCC sessions in Bonn and Paris. The US called for recruiting new firms in the oil and natural gas initiative and proposed that the CCAC cooperate with the Global Methane Initiative. She identified the need to take action on black carbon, saying the US will highlight this issue during current chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
Australia suggested a follow-up ministerial statement to encourage more oil companies to join the oil and natural gas partnership. New Zealand described his country’s engagement in the CCAC’s agriculture initiative to reduce methane emissions. He underscored the relevance of ADP Workstream 2, saying this “technically focused workstream” can serve to raise awareness, showcase best practices and disseminate scientific understanding.
ICLEI highlighted that work has started to mobilize more than 2000 cities to come to Paris with their transformative action plans. The Smart Freight Centre underscored a Global Green Freight Action Plan to align various existing green freight programmes in different countries and introduce such programmes to new countries. She said the objective is to double the number of countries with green freight programmes. The CCAC Global Action Plan on Green Freight will be launched next week at the International Transport Forum.
The International Climate Change Partnership reported on the progress of the private sector-led initiatives of the HFC Statement at the Climate Summit, particularly actions on addressing HFCs in the global food cold chain and management of refrigerants for emission reductions. The UK proposed a communication plan for Paris so that CCAC partners can speak with one voice.
The HLA endorsed the action plan as proposed.
Co-Chair Thiaw commended the CCAC as “an incredible coalition that is doing a lot without much controversy.” He drew attention to limited outreach. Underscoring Paris as an opportunity, he encouraged the CCAC to be more visible and attract more partners, seeking to double their number. He proposed continued engagement with BRICS countries and reaching out to the renewable energy community. He also noted the Arctic Council and black carbon as critical issues and identified the need for the CCAC to work with ADP Workstream 2.
Co-Chair Sundtoft emphasized the CCAC’s key role in improving understanding of how reducing SLCP emissions is beneficial for air quality, health and climate change. She highlighted the 5-Year Strategic Plan’s importance for sending a strong signal to Paris. She thanked CCAC partners for their important work “being done every day around the world” as well as the Secretariat and Co-Chairs. She closed the HLA at 12.54 pm.
17th Session of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Congress: The 17th session of the WMO Congress will discuss, inter alia, the strategic plan for 2016-2019, the post-2015 development agenda, aeronautical meteorology, disaster risk reduction and gender mainstreaming. dates: 25 May to 12 June 2015 location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: WMO Secretariat phone: +41-22-7308111 fax: +41-22-7308181 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: https://sites.google.com/a/wmo.int/cg-17/
42nd Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies: The 42nd sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies to the UNFCCC and the ninth part of the second session of the ADP (ADP 2-9) are expected to take place in June 2015. dates: 1-11 June 2015 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: email@example.com www: http://www.unfccc.int
High-level Event on Climate Change: The President of the UN General Assembly will convene this high-level event, with the aim of giving momentum and adding impetus to efforts to reach a global agreement in 2015 under the UNFCCC. dates: 29 June 2015 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Office of the President of the UN General Assembly www: http://www.un.org/pga/calendar/
Our Common Future Under Climate Change: Organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Council for Science (ICSU) and Future Earth, in collaboration with a partnership of French organizations, this science-focused conference will examine the latest research around climate change. The event will touch upon: the state of knowledge on climate change; responding to climate change challenges; and collective action and transformative solutions. dates: 7-10 July 2015 location: Paris, France contact: Conference Secretariat email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.commonfuture-paris2015.org/
Third International Conference on Financing for Development: The Third International Conference on Financing for Development will be held at the highest possible political level, including Heads of State or Government, relevant ministers―ministers for finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation―and other special representatives. The conference will result both in an intergovernmentally negotiated and agreed outcome and in summaries of the plenary meetings and other deliberations of the Conference, to be included in the report of the Conference. dates: 13-16 July 2015 location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia contact: UN Financing for Development Office phone: +1-212-963-4598 email: email@example.com www: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/
ADP 2-10: The tenth part of the second session of the ADP is expected to convene in August/September 2015. dates: 31 August - 4 September 2015 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.unfccc.int
CCAC Working Group Meeting: The CCAC Working Group will continue its work in guiding CCAC’s cooperative actions. dates: 8-9 September 2015 location: Paris, France contact: CCAC Secretariat phone: +33-1-44-37-14-50 fax: +33-1-44-37-14-74 email: email@example.com www: http://www.ccacoalition.org/
UN Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda: The summit is expected to adopt the post-2015 development agenda, including: a declaration; a set of Sustainable Development Goals, targets, and indicators; their means of implementation and a new Global Partnership for Development; and a framework for follow-up and review of implementation. dates: 25-27 September 2015 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development fax: + 1-212-963-4260 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/summit
42nd Session of the IPCC: The 42nd session of the IPCC is expected to convene in October 2015. dates: 6-10 October 2015 [TBC] location: Dubrovnik, Croatia contact: IPCC Secretariat phone: +41-22-730-8208/54/84 fax: +41-22-730-8025/13 email: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int www: http://www.ipcc.ch
ADP 2-11: The eleventh part of the second session of the ADP is expected to convene in October 2015. dates: 19-23 October 2015 location: Bonn, Germany contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: email@example.com www: http://www.unfccc.int
UNFCCC COP 21: The 21st session of the COP to the UNFCCC and associated meetings will take place in 2015. dates: 30 November - 11 December 2015 location: Paris, France contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: +49-228-815-1000 fax: +49-228-815-1999 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.unfccc.int
CCAC High-Level Assembly: The role of the CCAC High-Level Assembly is to set policy, take stock of progress and initiate future efforts. date: 8 December 2015 location: Paris, France contact: CCAC Secretariat phone: +33-1-44-37-14-50 fax: +33-1-44-37-14-74 email: email@example.com www: http://www.ccacoalition.org