Strategic partnering for Climate and Clean Air - GulfToday

Strategic partnering for Climate and Clean Air

Meena Janardhan

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

Climate Change in India

A man walks through a dried-up Sarkhej lake on a hot summer day in Ahmedabad, India. Reuters

India has formally joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), becoming the 65th country to join the partnership, following through on a commitment made by the country’s Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar.

The announcement underlines India’s commitment to combat air pollution with a solutions-oriented approach.  India plans to work with the CCA countries on best practices and experiences for the effective implementation of India’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).

Launched in January 2019, the NCAP is a comprehensive strategy with actions to prevent, control and reduce air pollution and improve air quality monitoring across the country. It aims to reduce fine particulate (PM2.5) and particulate (PM10) air pollution by 20 to 30% by 2024. India has identified 102 non-attainment cities, with city-specific action plans being formulated.

Clean air and climate-friendly technologies will be at the forefront of sustainable development for all countries. India is a global leader in the development of technologies, infrastructure and policies in this field.

In 2015, India initiated the International Solar Alliance, a global coalition of nations tackling climate change by leveraging the power of solar energy, and has increased its vehicle emissions standards to BS6, which is similar to Euro 6 standards. In 2017, the Central Government announced that from 2030, all new vehicles sold in the country would be electric.

The Coalition offers India a well-established and action-oriented partnership platform, which will be instrumental in the implementation of the country’s ambitious NCAP and will help define priorities when it comes to action on air pollution, development and climate co-benefits of it. In addition, the Coalition can support India’s efforts to develop the governance and local capacities to adopt and implement environmentally friendly technologies and solutions.

The CCA is a voluntary global partnership of 65countries, 17 intergovernmental organizations, and 56 businesses, scientific institutions and civil society organizations committed to catalyzing concrete, substantial action to reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SCLPs), including methane, black carbon and many hydrofluorocarbons.

The Coalition has 11 initiatives working to raise awareness, mobilize resources and lead transformative actions in key sectors. Reducing short-lived climate pollutants can provide benefits to health, development, and the environment; implementing these initiatives can prevent more than 2.5 million premature deaths from air pollution every year. These actions must go hand-in-hand with deep and persistent cuts to carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases if we are to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Seven initiatives focus on specific sectors to identify the most cost-efficient and practical pathways to reduce their emissions. These initiatives work closely with relevant communities, industry representatives, NGOs and policy makers to support targeted improvements to technology, best practice and policies. Four initiatives carry out work across sectors to accelerate emissions reductions for all SCLPs. Changes in policies and practices in these areas can affect change across a wide range of polluting activities.

Heavy-Duty Vehicles: Works to reduce the climate and health impacts of black carbon and particulate matter emissions in the transport sector.

Oil and Gas: Seeks to promote significant reductions in methane and black carbon emissions from the oil and gas sector by 2030.

Waste: Addresses methane, black carbon, and other air pollutant emissions from the municipal solid waste sector through its work with cities and national governments.

Bricks: Addresses emissions of black carbon and other pollutants from brick production to reduce the harmful climate, air pollution, economic, and social impacts from this sector.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs): Targets governments and the private sector to address rapidly growing HFC emissions, which could account for as much as 19% of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, if left unchecked.

Household Energy: Household cooking and domestic heating are major sources of significant contributors to global climate change like carbon dioxide and a number of SLCPs including methane and black carbon.

Agriculture: Crop production, livestock production and related land use activities make the agriculture sector one of the largest sources of short-lived climate pollutants.

SCLPs: Measures to mitigate SLCPs have been assessed at a global and regional level and now need to be incorporated into national policies and actions.

Finance: A cross-cutting action to bolster financial flows towards SLCP mitigation for reductions scale-up.

Regional Assessments of SLCPs: To help shape regional cooperation as well as the action of national governments, and to encourage new action.

Urgent health, climate and development priority: Joint and complementary action by the urban health and development sectors, and reinforcing the important linkage between SLCP mitigation, air pollution mitigation and health benefits.