Hillary Clinton launches voluntary non-CO2 emissions reduction scheme

By RTCC Staff

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Climate Change Envoy Todd Stern hope to accelerate action on emissions with their new scheme.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today launched a voluntary emissions reduction scheme aimed at cutting methane, soot and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in developing countries.

The pledge-based system, called The Climate and Clean Air Coalition, will target pollutants that have a greater warming effect than carbon dioxide, but a shorter lifecycle in the atmosphere.

A recent study by NASA said that targeting these emissions could reduce warming by as much as 0.5°C by 2050.

“In the principal effort necessary to reduce the effects of carbon dioxide, the world has not done enough. This scheme will support, not supplant the efforts made by the UNFCCC,” said Secretary Clinton at the launch.

Clinton said that one-third of global warming could be attributed to short-lived pollutants.

“It’s not a negotiation over who takes what targets,” said Todd Stern, the US State Department’s special envoy on climate change, “but a voluntary partnership aimed at producing tangible results in a relatively short period of time.”

Soot, sometimes referred to as black carbon, is poisonous as well as having an enhanced warming effect.

Attaching filters to diesel cars, distributing more efficient cook stoves and implementing legislation against uncovered agricultural waste fires can help reduce soot. Methane can be captured from landfill sites as well as from mines.

Partners for the scheme include Sweden, Canada, Ghana, Bangladesh and Mexico.

The US hopes to include more countries in the coalition and will campaign for additional sources of funding.

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