Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

August 30, 2014

In the fight to tackle climate change, reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) plays a crucial role. SLCPs include black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and are commonly associated with refrigeration, diesel-fueled vehicles, and solid-fuel cooking fires.

True to their name, these pollutants persist for a short time in the atmosphere but can be extremely potent in terms of their global warming potential compared to long-lasting greenhouse gases such as CO2. Black carbon stays in the atmosphere for about two weeks, compared to CO2 that lingers in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.

Reducing emissions from SLCPs not only provides climate benefits but can also lead to developmental impacts such as improved public health and agricultural benefits. The World Bank is stepping up its efforts to address SLCPs. A report published in September 2013, identifies ways the World Bank can do more through its projects to reduce the emission of SLCPs.

The following reports, news articles and blog posts provide more information about SLCPs and actions that can be taken to reduce their impact.

Reducing Black Carbon Emissions from Diesel Vehicles : Impacts, Control Strategies, and Cost-Benefit Analysis
This report aims looks at efforts to control black carbon emissions from diesel-based transportation in developing countries. It presents a summary of emissions control approaches from developed countries, while recognizing that developing countries face a number of on-the-ground implementation challenges. Report | Blog

Clean Air and Healthy Lungs: Enhancing the World Bank’s Approach to Air Quality Management 
Building better infrastructure for air quality management in Africa and Asia, where urbanization is accelerating, will save lives now and support the economies of tomorrow. Projects must take an integrated, cross-sectoral approach that is informed by solid analytical work, says a World Bank report that examines World Bank experience working with developing countries to improve air quality over a decade. Report | Feature

Climate-Smart Development: Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty and Combat Climate Change
With careful design, the same development projects that improve communities, save lives, and increase GDP can also fight climate change. This study examines the multiple benefits for a series of policy scenarios addressing transportation and energy efficiency in buildings and industry in five countries and the European Union. Report | Feature | Data Interactive

On Thin Ice: How Cutting Pollution Can Slow Warming and Save Lives
Climate change is happening faster and in a dramatically more visible way in the Earth's cryosphere than anywhere else on Earth. SLCP's play an important role in the melting of the snow and ice regions. Report | Feature

Integration of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in World Bank Activities
This report reviewed the World Bank's project portfolio and found from financial years 2007 to 2012 7.7% of the commitments or approximately US$18 billion were on activities related to short-lived climate pollutants. Report | Feature

Methane Finance Study Group Report: Using Pay-for-Performance Mechanisms to Finance Methane Abatement
The World Bank, at the request of the G8, convened a methane study group, which found that a relatively small investment could bring fast and significant reductions in the powerful greenhouse gas methane. Report | Brief

Diesel: Emissions, Health & Climate Impacts
Sameer Akbar writes that one clear message from the scientific evidence is that reducing diesel emissions provides health and climate benefits. Read More

Reducing Methane with Innovative Finance
Brice Quesnel writes that "when implemented, pay-for-performance provided by a credit-worthy third party can be a powerful catalyst for private investment. There is potentially much wider scope for the use of pay-for-performance mechanism in climate finance for its deployment to target other GHGs in addition to methane." Read More

A Pig Farm Helps the Environment With Clean Technology
With the help from the World Bank, a farm in Morelos, Mexico, avoids the emission of greenhouse gases produced by animal waste. Watch

Reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, One Brick at a Time
In a blog, Maria Saraf, a senior environmental economist in the South Asia region of the World Bank, focuses on the issue of indoor and outdoor air pollution in the South Asia region and how the Bank is working with the brick industry in reducing black carbon emissions. Read More

China Phase-Out of Ozone Damaging Chemicals Brings Climate Benefits
In a blog, Karin Shepardson, the program manager for the Montreal Protocol team of the World Bank, writes about a US$95 million funding from Montreal Protocol to China to reduce its hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) production. With this funding, China is expected to reduce its HCFC production by 10% between now and 2015. Read More

Three Steps to Stop Kitchen Smoke from Killing More Women and Children
In a blog, Vijay Iyer lists three accelerators to fast-track results in stopping indoor air pollution. Those are - 1. coordinating multiple sectors and government bodies, 2. bridging the gap between those seeking finance and those able to provide it, 3. creating a body of knowledge, best practice and market information. Read More

Clean Air and Sustainable Environment Project
The objective of this project is to improve air quality and safe mobility in Dhaka through the implementation of demonstration initiatives in urban transport and brick making. Read More

Bangladesh - Brick Kiln Efficiency Project
The objective of this project is to improve the environmental sustainability of the brick making sector in the country by supporting the use of alternative cleaner brick-making technology. Read More

FALG Brick Project - India
The aim of the project is to reduce the  emissions  of greenhouse  gases by increasing the market penetration of a more  climate-frienclly  brick manufacturing  technology. The  objectives  include the creation of business opportunities for small  enterprises using a more climate-friendly technology, including the possibility of more stable employment for seasonal brick workers, and improving the environmental  sustainability of construction materials in the country. Read More

Introducing Energy-efficient Clean Technologies in the Brick Sector of Bangladesh 
This report analyzes the brick sector in Bangladesh and assesses the feasibility of cleaner alternative technologies. Read More

Mexico - Sustainable Rural Development
The objective of the project is to promote the adoption of environmentally sustainable technologies in agri-businesses. The project will validate and promote the utilization of alternative forms of solar and biomass utilization such as solar farms and the development of energy-related clusters of producers and processors. Read More

One Goal, Two Paths: Achieving Universal Access to Modern Energy in East Asia and Pacific
This report outlines an ambitious program for the eradication of energy poverty in East Asia and Pacific by 2030. To achieve it, it urges governments to work simultaneously on two paths: first, achieving universal electricity access by accelerating both grid and off-grid programs while employing appropriate policies and innovative technical solutions to reduce costs, improve reliability, and provide timely service to all households. Second, a major push is needed to increase access to clean cooking fuels (natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and biogas) and advanced cooking stoves, particularly for biomass in poor rural areas. Read More

Black Carbon and Climate Change: Considerations for International Development Agencies
This report is intended to inform the international development community about the links between black carbon and climate change. With growing scientific clarity on the contribution of black carbon to climate change, the benefits of limiting its emissions are becoming more evident. This report reviews the existing knowledge on the subject and identifies relevant considerations for development organizations. Read More