Report proposes short-term measures to slow climate change

The UN Environment Programme has recently published a synthesis report on mitigation of short-term climate forcers: black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and methane. The report claims that reducing emissions of these substances will significantly slow climate change in the short term and will provide significant air quality benefits. To some extent the report is addressed to developing economies but many of the recommendations also have the potential for real benefits in developed economies such as Canada.

The 53 page report provides a detailed analysis of the benefits that could be realized through reduction of emissions of these three substances. Some of the recommended policy initiatives, presented as a low-cost approach to achieving significant temporary slowing of climate change using readily available technology, include:

  • Cooking and heating with clean burning stoves instead of conventional stoves and/or clean fuel (LPG/biogas) instead of biomass stoves in developing countries.
  • Recovery and utilization of vented associated gas during oil production.
  • Separation and treatment of biodegradable municipal waste with no biodegradable waste disposed of to landfill.
  • Replacing coal with coal briquettes in cooking and heating stoves in developing countries.
  • Reduced leakage during gas pipeline transmission.
  • Recovery and utilization of vented associated gas during gas production.
  • Farm-scale anaerobic digestion on large farms with liquid manure management.
  • Replacing traditional brick kilns with more efficient kilns.

The report, which makes very encouraging reading, also includes lists of suggested moderate and higher cost policy initiatives.

Find the report at