October 12, 2009

Cutting Non-CO2 Pollutants Can Delay Abrupt Climate Change, Solve “Fast Half” of Climate Problem

Filed under: climate — inece @ 5:05 am

Reducing non-CO2 climate change agents such as black carbon soot, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), as well as expanding biosequestration through biochar production, can forestall fast approaching abrupt climate changes, according to Nobel Laureate Dr. Mario Molina and co-authors in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The article, Reducing abrupt climate change risk using the Montreal Protocol and other regulatory actions to complement cuts in CO2 emissions [pdf], sets out a call to action that asks policymakers to recognize the advantages of implementing these fast-action strategies to complement reductions in CO2.

The authors note that strong compliance mechanisms are needed to ensure the effectiveness of these fast-action strategies.

The fast-action strategies discussed [in the article] could be implemented within the next 5–10 years and lead to climate response within decades or sooner. HFCs, BC, tropospheric ozone, and other short-lived forcers can be addressed in large part through existing treaties as well as through coordinated local air pollution policies, along with funding and technology transfer through existing institutions. As noted by Pachauri (73), there is an important role for regulation to advance climate mitigation, including mandatory standards and codes in various sectors. Regulatory standards, including phase-downs, provide policy certainty to drive investment and innovation needed to accelerate solutions as shown by the Montreal Protocol, although market-based approaches also will be needed to expand biosequestration. Strong compliance mechanisms are needed.

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