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CATF Expert Elected to Climate and Clean Air Coalition Board of Directors

February 18, 2021 Work Area: Methane

Sarah Smith, Clean Air Task Force’s Super Pollutants Program Director, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

She will be instrumental in driving their 2030 Vision that aims to put the world on a pathway that rapidly reduces warming the near-term while maximizing development, health, environmental and food security benefits.

CCAC is a voluntary partnership of governments, intergovernmental organizations, businesses, scientific institutions and civil society organizations committed to improving air quality and protecting the climate through actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (super pollutants).

The Coalition is now a truly global network that includes 71 member states and 78 international and non-governmental partners.

In 2000, CATF spotted the issue of short-lived climate pollutants, powerful warming agents speeding up climate change alongside headline-grabbing carbon dioxide emissions. More recently dubbed super pollutants, these emissions – including black carbon soot, HFC refrigerants, and methane from the agriculture and fossil fuel sectors – deserved much more attention than they were getting.

Since then, the science has only become clearer: curbing super pollutants is essential to decreasing the warming curve and helping prevent potentially irreversible climate tipping points and changes to our planet. In addition, super pollutants significantly impact air quality, food, water and economic security for much of the world – these are pollutants that impact people’s day to day lives on a massive scale.

Climate and Clean Air Coalition - why methane
Source: CCAC

To help build global momentum around reining in these emissions, CATF worked with the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations Environment Programme, among other partners to help launch the CCAC in 2012. As the climate crisis worsens, the CCAC’s role has only become more timely and meaningful.

Due to their relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere, ranging from a few days to a few decades, reducing short-lived climate pollutants can rapidly slow the rate of global temperature rise, complement efforts to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions and keep warming below 2°C.

CCAC has outlined measures that can cut methane emissions by at least 40% and black carbon by up to 70% by 2030, and virtually eliminate (99.5%) high-global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons by 2050 (all compared to 2010 levels).

CATF looks forward to working with partners around the world to fast-track national action on super pollutants. It’s time to slam the brakes on these powerful pollutants! The CCAC’s 2030 Strategy recognizes that all countries must take more ambitious action to reduce super pollutants and aims to help countries focus on actions that support clean air objectives and contribute to meeting the Paris Agreement temperature target.

“As countries consider taking action on super pollutants, NGOs must define what constitutes real ambition,” said Sarah Smith. “As a member of the CCAC Board, CATF challenges member states to demonstrate political leadership, robust emissions reduction commitments, and a willingness to quickly advance protective public policies. We look forward to collaborating with NGO partners in the Coalition to offer technical support and assistance and elevate the many reasons for fast action.”

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