Summary report, 14 November 2016

8th High-Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC)

The 8th High Level Assembly (HLA) of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) convened in Marrakech, Morocco, on Monday, 14 November 2016, in parallel with the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Assembly was attended by high-level government representatives and heads of non-state partner organizations.

The Assembly addressed the implementation of the Paris Agreement by taking advantage of the growing momentum to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), proposing specific action on methane in the oil and gas sector, and on black carbon in the transport sector, as well as by developing national black carbon inventories. Ministers and other high level representatives considered addressing these issues as presented in an outcome document, the Marrakech Communiqué. 


The CCAC is a voluntary international coalition of governments, international organizations, the private sector and non-governmental organizations that aims to: reduce emissions of SLCPs, including black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are responsible for a substantial proportion of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere and, thus, warming; 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. It is open to countries and non-state actors, and currently has 112 partners consisting of 51 country partners and 61 non-state partners.

SLCPs include black carbon, methane (precursor to tropospheric ozone) and some HFCs. These pollutants have a near-term warming influence on the climate, and, in many cases, are also very 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. Its seven sectoral initiatives include:

  • Agriculture;
  • Bricks (mitigating SLCPs and other pollutants from brick production);
  • Diesel (reducing black carbon emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines);
  • HFCs (promoting HFC-alternative technology 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 also has four cross-cutting initiatives on: financing mitigation of SLCPs; regional assessments; supporting national planning for action on SLCPs (SNAP); and health.

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE: The CCAC institutional structure includes the HLA, the Working Group (WG), the Steering Committee, the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) and the 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 WG includes focal points from each CCAC partner, and convenes at least twice a year to oversee activities.

The CCAC also has a Steering Committee composed of the two WG 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 WG.

The SAP consists of 15 scientists, including, ex-officio, the UN Environment Chief Scientist. The CCAC Secretariat is hosted by UN Environment in its Economy Division in Paris, France.




The HLA was co-presided by Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Canada, and Pablo Badenier, Minister of Environment, Chile. CCAC WG Co-Chair Rita Cerutti moderated. In opening remarks, McKenna welcomed the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, stressed that the reduction of SCLPs must go hand-in-hand with phasing out HFCs, and called on the Coalition to take concrete steps to address methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, and black carbon from the transport sector in order to achieve multiple benefits in climate and health. She welcomed: Rwanda as a new Coalition partner, bringing the toal number of partners to 112; and Vincent Biruta, Rwandan Minister of Natural Resources.

Hakima El Haite, Minister of Environment, Morocco, highlighting the CCAC’s progress and welcoming the Kigali Amendment, noted her country’s efforts to address SLCPs through replacing traditional wood and coal-based ovens with gas ovens. Urging countries to support the Marrakech Communiqué, she stressed that actions by the Coalition will have a quick and direct impact on those most vulnerable to climate change and will also improve health and productivity.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC, lamented that only a few countries had included SLCPs in their Nationally Determined Contributions. She lauded the work of the CCAC to reduce SLCPs, and noted that enhanced efforts will be required in order to meet the commitments under the Paris Agreement.


SAP Chair Drew Shindell spoke on SCLPs, highlighting SLCP’s as integral to the pathway to meet the 1.5°C target and the need to reduce emissions for current and future generations. He lamented that the world is currently headed toward surpassing the 1.5°C warming threshold in twenty years, underscoring that in 2016 the world is on track to exceed 1.3°C average warming. He stressed the need to reduce the rate of change immediately as well as in the long term, noting that mitigation and adaptation measures are key but that reducing SLCPs should also be a focus. He highlighted that while reducing CO2 emissions will address long-term goals, the world will lose out on short-term health and poverty alleviation targets that urgently addressing methane would provide. Given that they are “short-lived” pollutants, he noted that some stakeholders prefer to defer action, but stressed that urgent action would address temperature increase and pollution-related health concerns, and increase agricultural yields. He called for adding a new goal of slowing global warming by half over the next 25 years by lowering black carbon emissions by 75% and methane by 25% and eliminating HFCs by 2030.

Commenting on the presentation, Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization, noted that SLCPs must be considered alongside CO2, and called for enhanced modeling methods in countries in order to assist them to tackle their own emissions. The European Investment Bank highlighted a stocktake and financing report on mitigation of GHGs and SLCPs they were launching today. The Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development suggested that by addressing CO2 and SLCPs in tandem, the world may avoid the “cluster of tipping points” between 1.5°C and 2°C.


This discussion was led by Jonathan Pershing, US Special Envoy for Climate Change, who lauded the Coalition for its accomplishments thus far and said that the Marrakech Communiqué acknowledges that the CCAC needs to scale up action on methane from the oil and gas sector. He said that methane is manageable and is a commodity that, if captured, can give a return on investment. He noted that methane, as a powerful SLCP, comprises 1.7 GT of carbon emissions from the oil and gas sector per year. Highlighting potential ways forward, he outlined a North American strategy with the US, Mexico and Canada to reduce methane emissions, noting that this will require regulatory and voluntary approaches. He advocated for a robust detection system, calling for monitoring and systems of repair to address methane leakages; and stressed the need to reduce the cost of leak-detection equipment.

In the discussion on methane emissions, Norway announced that it will continue to support the CCAC Trust Fund to the tune of US$1.7 million; and stressed that there are low hanging fruits that can be acted upon in terms of SLCP mitigation measures regarding methane. The UK noted the benefits of momentum generated by the CCAC as well as the Kigali Amendment; announced his country’s support for the reduction of methane from oil and gas; and mentioned the US$1 billion commitment by oil and gas companies to address methane in the sector.

New Zealand offered her country’s full support of the Marrakech Communiqué, and emphasized New Zealand’s challenges in addressing methane in agriculture and livestock, calling for the CCAC to start addressing this within the next 12 months. Ireland welcomed the CCAC’s multiple focus on air pollution, climate change and health; noted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement both provide opportunities to address SLCPs, and that SLCPs are embedded in the SDGs; and supported also focusing on methane in agriculture.

The Center for Clean Air Policy highlighted that: the Marrakech Communiqué actions are critical and should be endorsed; the actions to be endorsed have multiple benefits for health, poverty alleviation and climate change; and the CCAC should work in partnership with others, including the oil and gas industry, to support the achievement of these goals.

In closing Pershing noted the emerging consensus around methane reduction in the oil and gas sector, the need for discrete action, and the need to consider agricultural SLCP emissions and other sources going forward.


CHAMPIONING CLEANER DIESEL FUELS AND VEHICLES: This session was led by Kouadio Kouamé Georges, Director General of Environment, Côte d’Ivoire, and Maria Neira, Director, Public Health and the Environment Department, World Health Organization. Neira welcomed any action to reduce SLCPs, in particular black carbón, in the transport sector, and noted that the reduction of SLCPs addresses the triangle between climate change, clean air and health. Kouamé Georges noted that the reduction of black carbon is vital to air quality in many developing countries. He highlighted that with UN Environment, partners have been working to reduce black carbon in the transport sector, noting that Ghana will be a pilot country in terms of addressing the health effects of SLCPs, and expressed hope that other countries will follow suit.

In the open discussion, Colombia said that in the case of black carbon, its reduction contributes to better air quality, and highlighted his country’s actions to address it in fuel and vehicle standards, noting that the country is working to create black carbon inventories. Kenya acknowledged East Africa’s actions on diesel to improve air quality, and welcomed the support of UN Environment and the CCAC for future action on the same.

Sweden said that reducing SLCPs will have enormous co-benefits for climate and health, emphasizing that while the introduction of new vehicles is important, robust emissions data from cars is needed in order to truly reduce black carbon.

Benin reported on: policy frameworks in place to measure black carbon in vehicles; measures regarding HFCs in air conditioners and refrigerators; and reforestation to address CO2 emissions. The US underscored the value of work on particulate matter and black carbon; highlighted that the experiences of other countries are transferable; and reiterated its commitment to the Coalition going forward.

The Maldives welcomed the Marrakech Communiqué, and called for assistance in addressing SLCPs as a small island developing state. The Central African Republic welcomed all the CCAC’s initiatives as well as the Kigali Amendment, calling for support to address black carbon.

BLACK CARBON INVENTORIES: CCAC PARTNERS LEADING BY EXAMPLE: This session was co-led by Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Environment, Norway, and Rodolfo Lacy, Undersecretary for Environmental Policy and Planning, Mexico. Helgesen lamented that despite the health effects of black carbon, it is not covered by any international agreement. He spoke about black carbon in the Arctic, expressing hope that an agreement can be reached on this in May 2017. He stressed that inventories are key to addressing black carbon, noting that better knowledge about black carbon is useful in climate policies. Lacy underscored the need to address climate change in the long term, but pointed to the need to link near and long- term goals. He noted a priority in Mexico is the mitigation of SLCPs, and highlighted an emission inventory established by the government to understand and reduce these pollutants. He called for the development of emissions standards for black carbon in the country, emphasized that all actions on SLCPs are welcome and noted that a proposal on black carbon in the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties for the Paris Agreement (CMA).

In the open discussion, Poland reported on the country’s reduction of SO2 and CO2 emissions, and highlighted the need for additional actions on black carbon in sectors such as heatstoves, among others. Expressing pride at being the newest member of the CCAC, Rwanda thanked CCAC partners for supporting the Kigali Amendment, and spoke on Rwanda’s initiatives to address black carbon, including a tax on older vehicles and an observatory to look at black carbon emissions sources.

Germany spoke on: inventories as a pragmatic tool for improving the understanding of emissions sources, noting that Germany’s inventory will be published soon; and monitoring instruments and their role in the work of projections. Finland noted that protection of the Arctic is key for her country, stressing that inventories and black carbon accounting measures are critical to addressing SLCPs, and highlighted Finland’s work with the private sector and small and medium-sized enterprises in developing innovative new clean energy technologies.

Japan said that the development of inventories will assist in addressing black carbon, noting that this inventory should be included in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) inventories. Commenting on the Communiqué, he called on the CCAC to take into account scientific knowledge from a broad range of sources in order to not prejudge the work of the IPCC.

The Dominican Republic called for support for a black carbon inventory as his country has an obsolete transport system and is reliant on charcoal. Bangladesh reported on his country’s efforts to address black carbon through a clean air roadmap, reporting on the installation of clean cookstoves to prevent the premature deaths of over 45,ooo women and children. The Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies noted work on a black carbon inventory for Nepal, calling for local and national actors to act quickly to address black carbon.

Lacy noted that a paragraph on black carbon will be prepared by Mexico and circulated to CCAC members to facilitate discussion of these issues at the CMA.


Noting that a “critical mass” of countries have supported action on SLCPs, CCAC Working Group Co-Chair Cerutti announced that Morocco, Mexico, Paraguay, Luxembourg, the Dominican Republic and others had joined the Marrakech Communiqué, calling on more countries to consider being listed as endorsers before the end of February 2017.

The Marrakech Communiqué contains calls for two proposed actions on black carbon: to reduce its emissions through cleaner diesel fuels and vehicles; and to develop black carbon inventories and projections. It also contains a proposed action to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations. To read the Communiqué in its entirety, please visit:


In closing, Minister Badenier called on all CCAC members to incorporate SLCP reduction into their national plans and share CCAC principles with non-members, and invited all partners to attend the next meeting of the CCAC Working Group, which will take place in Chile in 2017. He closed the meeting at 6:22pm.


Policy and Advocacy Network Event for Cleaner Bricks Production in Latin America: This event aims to generate dialogue between different institutions on the challenges and opportunities to transform the bricks sector, and to support Colombia in its efforts to include the sector as part of the global, regional and national sustainable development agendas. At the same time, the event seeks to exchange successful experiences from Latin America on the impact and implementation of regional public policies linked to the brick sector (i.e., from Mexico, Peru and Paraguay) and its potential contribution to the Paris Agreement. The event is co-hosted by the CCAC, Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Center for Human Rights and Environment, in collaboration with Swisscontact and Corporacion Ambiental Empresarial.  dates: 29 November to 2 December 2016  location: Bogotá, Colombia  contact: Catalina Etcheverry, Agriculture & Bricks Initiative Coordinator  email: www:

Advancing Ozone & Climate Protection Technologies: Air-Conditioning Workshop: This workshop builds on a series of conferences addressing alternatives to technologies using high-global warming potential HFCs and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in different sectors. It will be held on the margins of the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Winter Meeting, which is convening from 28 January to 1 February 2017. The workshop aims to familiarize participants with climate-friendly and cost-effective technologies, which have proven their applicability in a range of air-conditioning applications, and to address issues related to their introduction and use in developed and developing country markets.  date: 1 February 2017  location: Las Vegas, USA  contact: Denise Sioson, Diesel & HFC Initiative Coordinator  email: www:

20th CCAC Working Group: The 20th CCAC WG and associated meetings will take place in Santiago, Chile. A science-policy dialogue will precede the WG meeting.  dates: 24-28 April 2017 (TBC)  location: Santiago, Chile  contact: James Morris, Partnership & Programme Officer, CCAC Secretariat  phone: +33-1-44-37-14-73  fax: +33-1-44 37-14-74  email: www: