U.S. States announce commitment to short-lived pollutants

The coalition of 17 governors plans to release an action plan in September 2018, and challenges others to join in cutting SLCP emissions, including HFCs.

By Michael Garry

The U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors from 16 states and Puerto Rico, announced today its commitment to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including HFCs, methane and black carbon, and are issuing a challenges for others to follow their lead.

The Alliance plans to release an action plan at the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018.

The SLCP plan is part of a new wave of climate action initiatives launched on the one-year anniversary of the Trump administration’s announcement that it intends to withdraw the U.S. from the global Paris Agreement.

“Immediate action on these pollutants is necessary to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C,” said the alliance in a statement.

In the coming months, the Alliance “will work to comprehensively address short-lived climate pollutants, including through new and continued actions to improve emissions inventories; quickly identify and address methane leaks and ‘super emitters’: promote energy efficiency, including in refrigeration and cooling; phasedown the use of HFCs; improve management of organic and agricultural waste streams; and define other targets and measures to rapidly reduce emissions of these potent pollutants.

The Alliance said it “invites all national and subnational jurisdictions, businesses and other actors to bring commitments to reduce short-lived climate pollutants to the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, California this September.”

The Alliance also urges all parties to call on government and business leaders to take action on this issue. It also encourages social media outreach using the following hashtags: #SLCPChallenge, #SLCPChallengeAccepted, #SLCP, #SuperPollutants, #ParisAgreement #GCAS2018 and #StepUp2018.

“Immediate action on these pollutants is necessary to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.” 
– U.S. Climate Alliance

The Alliance pointed out that strategies to reduce HFC emissions “promote more energy efficient systems that lower costs for businesses and households, support the leadership of U.S. businesses developing alternatives to HFCs, and increase the need for skilled technicians and system designers.”

Particular Alliance members have already begun targeting HFCs. For example California law requires reducing emissions of HFCs by 40% below 2013 levels by 2030. The State has developed a comprehensive Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy to meet this goals. Recently, California became the first state to adopt regulations prohibiting the use of certain HFCs in some end uses.

In his 2018 State of the State, New York Governor Cuomo directed state agencies to develop a comprehensive plan to reduce HFC emissions through a suite of regulatory, incentive, and capacity-building programs.

The U.S. Climate Alliance includes California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia,, and Washington. It represents 40% of the U.S. population and a $9 trillion economy, greater than the third largest country in the world. U.S. Climate Alliance states are on track to meet their share of the Paris Agreement emissions target by 2025.

Originally published on Jun 01, 2018:

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