African Policy Makers Seek To Reduce Pollution For Clean Air Benefits And Climate Protection
Accra, Ghana - High-level government officials, policymakers, environmental experts, and industrial stakeholders from across Africa and around the world are meeting recently to identify ways to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) from the African continent.
SLCPs are substances emitted to the atmosphere, such as methane, black carbon (soot), tropospheric ozone, and many hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Implementing measures to substantially reduce methane, black carbon and tropospheric ozone would have substantial and immediate health, crop yield and other environmental benefits for Africa. In addition, their reduction, along with reductions in the emissions of many HFCs, would help reduce near-term warming and climate impacts across Africa and globally over the next few decades.
Hosted by the Environment Ministries of Ghana and Nigeria with support from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), this three-day event addresses the critical need for early mitigation of the impacts of SLCPs. Countries in attendance along with the hosts, Ghana and Nigeria, include Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ethiopia, Niger, Malawi, Senegal, Togo and Zimbabwe.
"By acting on SLCPs now, African countries have an opportunity to achieve many concrete health, agriculture, and energy security benefits for Africans whilst also helping to reduce the global warming over the next few decades by up to 0.5 degrees C, halving the projected rate of warming globally and in Africa," said Ghana Environment Minister Sherry Ayittey, who opened the meeting. "Action on SLCPs also promotes gender equality and women's rights, especially by tackling indoor air pollution," she continued.
Under the chairmanship of Ms. Bahijjahtu Abubakar of Nigeria, attendees will explore methods of SLCP reduction for African nations such as promoting best practices and showcasing successful efforts for the reduction of black carbon from cookstoves, oil and gas flaring, and transport, and the reduction of methane emissions from fossil fuel production and from the agricultural and waste sectors. The meeting will also address raising awareness of the SLCP issue in Africa and improving scientific understanding of SLCP impacts and the socio-economic benefits of mitigation strategies, and enhancing and developing the capacity of policy makers to take effective action at both national and regional levels.
It is expected that attendees will deliver recommendations for follow-on activities on the African continent and future engagement with the CCAC.
SOURCE: United Nations Environment Programme