Climate and Clean Air Initiatives Advances in the CCAC Ministerial Meeting

Government ministers and partners of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)-convened Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) have recently initiated a series of comprehensive climate and clean air endeavors aimed at addressing the triple planetary crisis encompassing climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss.

During the CCAC’s annual Climate and Clean Air Ministerial Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, held in advance of the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6), participating countries and stakeholders unveiled a Clean Air Flagship initiative. An initiative designed to enhance regional coordination, foster private sector engagement, promote data-driven policy measures, facilitate financing, advance scientific research, and advocate for pertinent causes.

Representatives from public, private, and non-profit sectors convened to explore strategies for amplifying the execution of national commitments towards emissions reduction, notably through initiatives such as the Global Methane Pledge and the Kigali Amendment. These discussions emphasized the imperative of transformative actions across various sectors.

Kenyan environmentalist Elizabeth Wathuti, founder of the Green Generation Initiative, emphasized that breath is essential for human existence. Pointing out that it’s alarming that in some parts of the world, the act of breathing has become a hazard, a risk, a gamble against the odds of pollution and climate-induced adversities.

climate and clean air
Kenyan environmentalist Elizabeth Wathuti

Furthermore, deliberations centered on advancing financing mechanisms and implementing effective policies aimed at curbing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Addressing these pollutants is identified as a paramount strategy for mitigating near-term warming and enhancing air quality.

A significant outcome of the climate and clean air meeting was the launch of a joint report by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the CCAC titled “Used Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDVs) and the Environment.” This report underscored a concerning trend of over 30% surge in CO2 emissions associated with heavy-duty vehicles since 2000. It also proposed a roadmap for reducing emissions in this sector through standardization, monitoring, and adoption of environmentally sustainable freight strategies.

In her address to the climate and clean air coalition, Inger Andersen, UNEP’s Executive Director, underscored the urgency of addressing super pollutants and urged stakeholders to incorporate them into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) while finalizing Methane Roadmaps and exploring innovative financing mechanisms.

Recognizing the pivotal role of cities in pollution and climate mitigation efforts, discussions also highlighted the importance of multi-level governance, with specific reference to the CCAC’s collaboration with the C40 Cities network.

climate and clean air
Delegates and member states during plenary

Moreover, partners welcomed the establishment of a climate and clean air coalition Technology and Economic Assessment Panel, aimed at bridging the gap between technological innovations and financial resources by evaluating the costs of measures, proposing viable business models, and identifying strategies to overcome barriers to scaling up climate finance.

Reflecting on the ongoing challenges, Ibrahim Auma, County Minister of Green Nairobi, emphasized the imperative of translating plans into tangible action and institutional frameworks to safeguard the planet’s health.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition was lauded for its exemplification of multilateralism and effective partnership, with Ghana being commended as a pioneering member for integrating short-lived climate pollutants into its official National Greenhouse Gas Inventory submissions to the UNFCCC.

Finally, Kenyan environmentalist Elizabeth Wathuti, founder of the Green Generation Initiative, underscored the profound significance of clean air and a stable climate, emphasizing that these endeavors are not merely environmental causes but fundamental rights essential for sustaining life on Earth

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