The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) selected five projects after an open and competitive call for proposals as part of the Coalition’s Action Programme to Address the 1.5˚C Challenge. The science is clear: warming must be slowed as quickly as possible to avert the most catastrophic effects of climate change and doing so requires every country to take ambitious action on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) now. The Coalition’s Action Programme is leading the way, helping countries to enhance ambition and support the Paris Agreement targets by acting quickly to reduce these pollutants.
India Action Plan on Reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
Of the 2.4 million premature deaths and the 52 million tonnes of crop yield loss that could be avoided around the world with SLCP mitigation, 33 per cent and 19 per cent would be in India alone.
In partnership with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the country will develop the India Action Plan on Reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, which will identify the primary sources of SLCP emissions, develop analyses and projections for the best mitigation paths, develop sector-specific pathways, and assess the health and socioeconomic co-benefits of mitigation.
“Increasing implementation of SLCP mitigation measures in the country would provide a large opportunity to achieve health, crop yield and climate change benefits,” said Dr. N. Hema, a Research Scientist at the Centre for Climate Change at the Environmental Management & Policy Research Institute (EMPRI). “India has substantial capacity for planning on air pollution and climate change and is taking action at the national, state, and city levels to improve air pollution and mitigate climate change. However, this is mostly being implemented in separate strategies and this is an opportunity to develop a master flagship assessment to tackle future emissions of SLCPs and develop pathways for the fastest possible action.”
This project, which will run from 2022 to 2023, will support India’s policymaking and build the country’s capacity to prevent air pollution and climate change. It will build on existing climate and clean air achievements, including India’s National Clean Air Program (NCAP), a strategy to combat air pollution by reducing particulate matter concentrations by 20 to 30 per cent by 2024.
The project will be carried out jointly with EMPRI, Karnataka and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India. It will use CCAC resources, including the CCAC Temperature Pathway Tool and the Global Methane Assessment to determine the best emissions scenarios, as well as identify the health, agricultural, and labour productivity benefits of mitigation. This work will align with India’s existing climate and clean air policies, including the NCAP, the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), States’ Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC), National Determined Contributions (NDCs), and India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP).
Increasing Implementation of Actions to Achieve Nigeria’s SLCP Targets
This project will ensure Nigeria has the support and capacity to achieve its recent series of bold climate and clean air commitments. In 2019, Nigeria endorsed its National Action Plan on SLCPs, identifying 22 mitigation actions to reduce black carbon by about 80 per cent and methane by 60 per cent. In 2021, the country submitted its updated NDC to the UNFCCC, upping its mitigation ambition by including SLCPs. This will reduce black carbon by 42 per cent and methane by 28 per cent by 2030 if fully implemented, potentially averting 30,000 deaths from air pollution, most of which would be infant deaths.
“Mitigating SLCPs in Nigeria is important for meeting both Nigeria’s international commitments on climate change, as well as improving the health of Nigerians through improvements in air quality,” said Chris Malley, a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York. “The air pollution health burden does not fall equally in Nigeria, and disproportionately affects children. Almost 20 per cent of global infant mortality from air pollution exposure are estimated to occur in Nigeria, according to the Global Burden of Disease. Therefore, projects that can reduce SLCPs in Nigeria will disproportionately benefit Nigerian children.”
This project will help Nigeria integrate SLCPs into their climate change Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems, including the Nigeria Climate Registry. It will also facilitate coordination between government agencies and develop a detailed assessment and implementation plan for the household energy sector which will include local mitigation pathways and a health impact assessment.
This work will be achieved with the recruitment of a national coordinator to oversee the implementation of the SLCP targets, improving MRV systems in Nigeria, and by developing an implementation plan for the country’s work in household energy.
The Contribution of Sustainable Intensification of Livestock to the Reduction of Methane Emissions (In Central America)
Livestock occupy 20 per cent of land in Panama and 25 per cent in the Dominican Republic. Many of these herds are low-productivity due to poor feed, illnesses, and reproduction practices which means meat and dairy production is too low and methane emissions are too high.
This project will help by mapping cattle farms in Panama and the Dominican Republic to identify the regions with the highest concentration of livestock, the level of technological innovation in each region, and the location of the highest concentrations of methane.
“The co-benefits this project will achieve include increased resilience of livestock farms from better conservation of trees, higher income for rural families, increased quality of goods and services, comprehensive development of agricultural territories, strengthening of producer organizations, improved value chains for commercial of goods and services, and increased gender equality,” said Cristobal Villanueva of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Teaching Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica. “The benefits for citizens will include education, awareness about consumer contribution to SLCP mitigation, and improved public health.”
The project will help farms develop relevant business models and access climate finance options. It will develop a training program to help farmers use livestock practices that reduce methane emissions while increasing income and improving resilience to the impacts of climate change. The project will be linked with technical inputs through the SICA (Central American integration system) to the development of low carbon livestock strategies with a focus on methane.
Accelerating Actions to Improve Organic Waste Management and Reduce Methane in Costa Rica
To transform Costa Rica’s waste sector and reduce methane emissions, this project will identify bankable projects and finance mechanisms by developing feasibility studies and business models. This will include identifying and promoting sectoral business opportunities, including the production of fertilizer from waste and the capture of emissions from landfills to use as fuel.
“This initiative will help make it visible that financial investment in mitigation projects is profitable and socially responsible,” said Daira Gómez, Executive Director of implementing partner CEGESTI. “The project will allow entrepreneurs and local governments to strengthen business models to make them bankable and the financial entities will have the opportunity to get a closer view of attractive investment opportunities related to climate change mitigation.”
This project will also promote dialogue among key stakeholders, including the government and the private sector.
This work will build off of Costa Rica’s strong environmental framework, including its National Decarbonization Plan, the 2020 NAMA on Solid Waste, and the National Plan on Composting. Developing a business model for organic waste recovery projects and creating public private alliances and identifying financial mechanisms will also increase the capacity of the national and local governments.
“We are extremely pleased to be part of this initiative and bring to the table the experience from other countries in the region where CCAC has already promoted organic waste management successfully,” said Gerardo Canales, Director of implementing partner ImplementaSur. “In a time where we need to act with extreme urgency to prevent as much as we can the climate crisis, using existing knowledge and networks around organic waste management in the region can help Costa Rica move faster and hopefully also motivate neighbouring countries to join these efforts.”
Enhancing and Enabling Climate Ambition for SLCP Management in Pakistan
South Asia has some of the world’s worst air pollution, with the death toll in 2017 reaching an estimated 128,000 people in Pakistan alone. Pakistan will conduct a capacity and needs assessment on the technology and resources required by each province to carry out locally relevant SLCP mitigation.
“The air quality index of Lahore is currently 27 times over the WHO 24-hour guideline, and 83 times the annual recommendation. Currently at one station, the value is a whopping 174 times that of WHO guidelines. We are now wearing N-95 face masks inside our homes,” said Dr. Aazir Khan, the Director of the Integrated Engineering Centre of Excellence at The University of Lahore. “The health impacts of this hazardous air quality are visible: swollen eyes, coughing, incessant headaches, and general problems with wellbeing call for an aggressive approach towards air pollution abatement.”
This project will build off Pakistan’s existing work with the CCAC to develop a black carbon emissions baseline by mapping out key stakeholders and pinpointing gaps and opportunities and identifying important points for future action. With this information, Pakistan will develop local action plans, a series of roadmaps, communication strategies, and sector specific targets. This work will culminate in a national reduction target for SLCPs in Pakistan and the future inclusion of SLCP abatement into the country’s NDCs.
“With one-fifth of the world’s population living in South Asia, it is essential to combat this issue that is endangering the lives of the citizens and causing long term, irreparable economic damages,” said Khan.