Clean Air Fund launch £10m programme to tackle black carbon

Clean Air Fund have launched a $12.9 million, three year programme to draw attention to, and provoke action on, the global impact of black carbon.

At the end of last year, the foundation published a policy brief called The Case for Action on Black Carbon, which highlighted the need for black carbon to be incorporated into climate strategies.

Polluted Ice in Sea

The brief highlight the many deleterious effects of the pollutant, from the obvious health impacts to its effect on rainfall patterns and influence on global warming.

Black carbon is a short-lived climate pollutant and a major component of particulate matter that has both air quality and climate impacts. Better known as soot, it is the black material emitted alongside other air pollutants during incomplete combustion. For example, diesel engines, brick kilns, residential energy, wildfires and other sources that burn fossil fuels, biomass and waste emit black carbon.

Because of its ability to absorb light as heat, it also contributes to climate change.  As black carbon deposits on snow and ice, it decreases the Earth’s ability to reflect the warming rays of the sun, while absorbing heat and hastening melt.

Clean Air Fund point to the reduction in methane emissions as an example of how successful collective global action can be, with more than 150 countries signing the Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% below 2020 levels by 2030.

The target they are setting for the reduction of black carbon emissions is 35% below 2010 levels by 2030. A business-as-usual scenario projects only a 3% reduction in black carbon emissions over the same period.

The three year programme will focus on:

  • Resolve scientific bottlenecks that inhibit progress on black carbon reduction, including much-needed research on scientific uncertainties, and generate a compelling case for action.
  • Build coalitions and alliances spanning health and climate to join a global call for action.
  • Secure pledges by national governments to cut their emissions.
  • Showcase the feasibility of solutions to reduce black carbon emissions and drive funding to scale up implementation.


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