Friday, March 29, 2013

U.S. NGOs Call for Task Force to Combat Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

U.S. non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are urging the Obama Administration to establish an inter-agency task force to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including black carbon, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), as a key strategy to reduce near-term climate change impacts.

On March 12, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) released a policy brief outlining steps the federal government can take to reduce SLCPs through existing authorities and executive actions. This follows an earlier letter to the Administration from a coalition of U.S. NGOs organized by Ambassador Nancy Soderberg for the Connect U.S. Fund, including 181 foreign policy experts, calling for an SLCP Task Force along with other fast action mitigation strategies.

Possible strategies include: strengthening programs to reduce methane leaks from oil and gas operations, landfill, coal mines, and animal feed lots; expanding programs to retrofit diesel engines; better managing controlled burns in northern states to reduce black carbon emissions; directing federal agencies to purchase products without HFCs; and phasing out HFC-134a in car air conditioners and other applications.

"As the nation's largest fleet operator, landowner, purchaser, and property manager, the federal government has the ability and the responsibility to lead by example in limiting its emissions of short-lived climate pollutants,'' stated Stephen Seidel, senior advisor at C2ES. “Fast action mitigation to reduce SLCPs was an important part of Senator Kerry’s climate strategy, and as Secretary of State he's already on record supporting SLCP strategies,” said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. “It’s now more urgent than ever that the U.S. pursue SLCP mitigation, as this is the only way to reduce near-term impacts.”

For additional information see: PRWeb, C2ES Brief, Connect U.S. Letter

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