The European Parliament is calling for
fast action to reduce non-CO2 climate forcers
including black carbon soot, hydrofluorocarbons
(HFCs), methane and ground-level ozone. The Parliaments
call for action came in a resolution passed this week by an
overwhelming majority (578 to 51 with 22 abstentions).
The resolution calls for a comprehensive climate policy and stresses that in
addition to considering CO2 emission reductions, it
should place emphasis on strategies that can produce the
fastest climate response, specifically strategies to cut
black carbon soot, HFCs, methane and
Because these climate forcers are short-lived, reducing them
produces a fast climate response, the Parliament said.
This is in contrast to long-lived CO2, where a
significant portion remains in the atmosphere for thousands of
years. Even cutting CO2 emissions to zero today will not
produce cooling for a thousand years, officials said.
Cutting just two of the short-lived climate forcers
(black carbon soot and ground-level ozone) can cut the rate of
global warming in half and by two-thirds in the Arctic for the
next 30 to 60 years, assuming we also make progress on
CO2, said Durwood Zaelke, president of the
Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.
Emissions of black carbon and other short-lived climate
forcers can be reduced quickly using existing technologies and
existing laws, according to a recent assessment by the UN Environment Program and World
Meteorological Organization. The EU resolution follows the
first-ever ministerial meeting on short-lived climate forcers
held September 12 in Mexico City. HP