ClimPol: SLCPs – Research Needs and Pathways to Policy Implementation

Sustainable development, improving air quality and slowing the pace of climate change have rarely been treated in an integrated way. Two recently released UNEP reports and a number of scientific publications have now drawn attention to the many benefits of reducing emissions and thus atmospheric concentrations of short-lived climate-forcing pollutants (SLCPs), in particular black carbon (BC), tropospheric ozone (O3), methane (CH4) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These benefits pertain to three areas:

  1.  Public health: approx. 2.4 million premature deaths a year are attributed to outdoor air pollution and approx. 2 million to exposure to soot produced by cooking indoors.
  2. Food security: around 30 million metric tons of food crops (grains, rice, corn and soy beans) are lost each year due to high levels of SLCPs in the atmosphere.
  3. Climate change: the predicted rise in temperatures by the year 2050 can be reduced by about 0.4°C through a limited set of aggressive measures to reduce these SLCPs, which, together with reducing CO2 emissions, would be a prerequisite for keeping the increase of the global average surface temperature under 2°C until the end of the twenty-first century.

ClimPol focuses on the science-policy-society interface, in particular on informing the public and policymakers and creating public awareness. This will be supported by the establishment of a globally networked transdisciplinary working group, which will facilitate outreach across sectors and borders.

ClimPol is currently active in three main areas:

  1. Supporting integrated policy development in Germany and in the EU
  2. Communication and public engagement
  3. International and scientific engagement

For more information please visit the project's website: climpol.iass-potsdam.de