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Combating Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs)

You encounter them every day: soot from auto exhaust and burning wood (black carbon), gases that make refrigerators and air conditioners cool (hydrofluorocarbons), natural gas that makes your stove work (methane), and ground-level ozone formed by sunlight and fossil-fuel emissions. Short-live climate pollutants are all around us. And controlling them holds great potential in the fight against climate change.

Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) are so named because they last a relatively short time in the atmosphere, from a few days to a few decades. In contrast, carbon dioxide (CO2) can last centuries. Yet they’re a major contributor to climate change, degrade air quality, and have grave impacts on food security and the health of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, SLCPs are responsible for more than 30 percent of global warming (more recent studies estimate their contribute to be as high as 45 percent).

Effective control of SLCPs could create significant progress in the near-term fight against climate change, buying time to implement long-term solutions. It could also mean better air quality, a reduction in premature deaths from respiratory and heart disease, and improved crop yields.

What AIDA is doing: 

  • Developed an informative brief (in Spanish) for leaders at COP19 explaining SLCPs, the main pollutants in this category and the reasons to regulate and reduce their emission. 
  • Published a report, Controlling Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, in collaboration with Brazil’s Institute for Energy and Environment. Aimed at policy makers in Brazil, Chile and Mexico, the report outlines the policies, laws, and programs that each country can use to limit SLCP emissions.
  • Began supporting government efforts in Brazil, Chile and Mexico to create plans and programs to decrease emissions of short-live climate pollutants. 

The Latest

Climate Change, Human Rights, Toxic Pollution | 10 December 2019

COP25: Organizations call on governments to improve air quality and, with it, slow the climate crisis

Environmental and social organizations from Latin America and around the world urge governments to limit short-lived climate pollutants in their international climate commitments.read more

Human Rights, Toxic Pollution | 11 November 2019

Air pollution: it damages your health from day one

A multi-city study, the first conducted in Colombia and Latin America, determines the relationship between air pollution and respiratory and circulatory diseases in the population.read more

| 5 June 2019

Clean air should be a human right, says UN Special Rapporteur

While the majority of countries around the world have recognized the right to a healthy environment, the right to clean air does not yet enjoy the same level of global recognition.read more

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