Developing Black Carbon Methodology for Near-term Climate Credits and Impacts
With support from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Alliance has partnered with Gold Standard Foundation to develop a climate finance mechanism for cookstoves and fuels projects that reduce black carbon (BC) and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). This methodology is designed to complement the existing Gold Standard methodology focused on emissions with longer atmospheric lifetimes like carbon dioxide (CO2) and other Kyoto greenhouses gases. The broad goal is to mobilize additional climate finance for the clean cooking sector and to achieve near-term mitigation of climate impacts.
Solid fuel use for cooking and heating accounts for approximately 21% of global black carbon emissions. Reducing BC and other SLCPs, including methane, tropospheric ozone (O3), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), offers unique benefits for climate change mitigation. Unlike CO2, which stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years, SLCPs remain in the atmosphere for only a few days to a few decades. Because SLCPs are major contributors to climate change, reduction of SLCPs can have a significant and immediate benefits. SLCP reductions also have local and regional benefits – black carbon disrupts monsoons, accelerates glacial and ice melting, and increases risks for flooding, which threatens water availability and food security for millions of people.
A diverse panel of experts met on December 6-7, 2014 in San Diego, California to discuss robust methodologies to measure and verify BC and SLCP emission reductions and financing mechanisms to implement these methodologies. These methodologies will require partnership with the ISO standard process to develop emissions standard for technology performance and with health experts developing metrics to evaluate health impacts. The expert panel also discussed the importance of increasing global capacity for laboratory and field testing of BC and SLCP emissions, which is needed for broad application of the new methodology. The completed draft methodology will be released for public comment in the first quarter of 2015.
Additional Information: On Thin Ice: How cutting pollution can slow warming and save lives (2013) World Bank and International Cryosphere Climate Initiative