Carbon emissions aren’t the only culprits when it comes to pollutants that cause climate change. Short-lived climate pollutants, including black carbon or ‘soot’, methane and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) also contribute to global warming and are linked to premature death and damage to crops.
In February of this year, several partners formed the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants. Today in Paris, France, the countries of Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan and the United Kingdom officially announced their participation in this international initiative and The Stockholm Environment Institute became the first research institute to join the coalition.
Waste in landfills around the world is the third largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions – 23 times more potent as a greenhouse gas agent than CO2. Fast action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants like methane can have a direct impact on climate change, with the potential to reduce the warming expected by 2050 by up to 0.5 degrees Celsius.
C40 and its partner the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities program are working with the Coalition and the Global Methane Initiative to assist urban areas to cut methane emissions from across the waste chain including from landfills and pollution linked with organic waste like food.
Today, the Coalition discussed plans to work with a group of up to 10 cities over the coming year to complete waste inventories, enhance composting and recycling, manage landfills, and enact comprehensive waste sector planning.
Currently, C40 is working with cities – and its partner CCI -- across the globe to implement innovative solutions for reducing carbon emissions, including converting captured methane waste into energy in Mexico City’s landfills. For a further example of action already being taken by C40 Cities, watch a video of Lawson Oates, Director of Toronto’s Environment Office, discuss how cities can reduce greenhouse carbon emissions and cultivate a new fuel source by managing methane emissions from landfills here.