The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report indicates that many fast actions for addressing climate change are proving to be more affordable than previously imagined. The report is entitled Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, it is the third of three Working Group Reports, which make up the IPCC’s fifth Assessment Report.
The report addresses the viability of restricting short lived climate pollutants (SLCP) and also indicates that there are a number of other fast actions that can be taken that will have a dramatic impact on global warming without adversely impacting people’s quality of life. They include efforts to improve energy efficiency through new building codes, vehicle efficiency standards and increases in renewable energy. The economic viability of clean energy sources like wind and solar are becoming increasingly obvious as they are becoming cheaper to produce and deploy.
The report highlighted the importance of reducing SLCP to quickly reduce climate change causing emissions. In addition to reducing temperature increases, such measures would protect human health and ecosystems.
Numerous recent studies have shown that addressing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including black carbon soot, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons can produce significant near-term climate benefits while also improving human health, food security and energy security.
“Cutting short-lived climate pollutants could cut the current rate of climate change in half by 2050, while preventing more than 2.4 million air-pollution related deaths a year, and avoiding around 35 million tonnes of crop losses annually.” stated Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “Cutting SLCPs is one of the best ways to reduce impacts over the next 50 years and beyond.”
The report noted that fast mitigation and co-benefits ‘are particularly high where currently legislated and planned air pollution controls are weak.’
“We have the technologies to cut the short-lived pollutants today,” Zaelke added. “This includes phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol and using other complementary initiatives such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, the only global effort focusing on these pollutants.”
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