Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024

News Excerpt:

The Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024 took place in Nairobi, Kenya with a call for international collaboration to phase-out short-lived climate pollutants, or “super pollutants”, such as methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons.

More about the conference:

  • The conference was hosted by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • CCAC 2024 has brought together 86 State Partners and 83 Non-State Partners of the Clean Air Coalition to deliberate on the most recent scientific and policy developments.
    • This includes developing a shared agenda in key carbon emitting sectors, including agriculture, fossil fuels, household energy, heavy-duty vehicles and engines, cooling and waste.
  • The event was convened on the margins of the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6).
  • For super pollutants, the world needs super solutions. 
    • By addressing short-lived climate pollutants, the world can deliver climate action, improve air quality and human health.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC):

  • The CCAC is a voluntary international coalition of governments, international organizations, the private sector, and NGOs. 
  • It aims to reduce emissions from short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP), avoid millions of premature deaths, promote food and energy security, and address near-term climate change
  • India joined the Climate & Clean Air Coalition in 2019.

Super Pollutants:

  • Super pollutants, also sometimes referred to as short-lived climate pollutants (SCLPs), derive their name from their relatively short life in the atmosphere as compared to carbon dioxide. 
    • For example, black carbon has a lifespan in the atmosphere of just a few days before falling to the earth, and methane persists for a little more than a decade. 
    • By contrast, the climate impacts of each ton of CO₂ emitted can last for hundreds of years.
  • Due to their short-lived nature, there are significant benefits to immediately cutting super pollutant emissions.
    • Reducing methane pollution is the best way to reduce the amount of global warming we’ll experience in the next 20 years.

Benefit of reducing emission of super pollutants:

  • Reducing emissions of super pollutants can also lead to improved air quality and public health: 
    • Methane is the primary contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone, a hazardous air pollutant and greenhouse gas.
    • Exposure to black carbon is associated with health problems such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease. 
      • Phasing out super pollutants can reduce air pollution, a global health risk. This will save millions of lives and reduce health impacts on children, including asthma.
      • Protecting crops from pollutants like tropospheric ozone will also boost food security.
    • Action on super pollutants is the ultimate three-for-one offer as a solution across the triple planetary crisis.
  • Global action to reduce black carbon can provide co-benefits of public health protection and climate change mitigation. 


Hence, an even more aggressive action on carbon dioxide is needed to counter the unmasking effect of air pollution control to not add to warming. Significant and sustained reductions in carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions will be the foundation for any successful climate strategy, but it does not eliminate the need to also reduce the powerful climate forcing influence of other climate pollutants, like methane and black carbon. Cleaning up super pollutants is a win-win for climate and for public health.

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