Alliance Applauds Bipartisan Bill to Eliminate Super Pollutants
U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) plan to introduce a bill focused on cutting short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), or so-called “super-pollutants,” which account for 40% or more of global warming.
A bipartisan effort, Senators Collins and Murphy propose the creation of an interagency US government task force, comprised of the Department of State and the Environment Protection Agency among other agencies. The task force will be responsible for SLCP mitigation through the reduction of black carbon emissions, methane, and high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons (GWP-HFCs). According to the United Nations Environment Program, the reduction of SLCPs could prevent more than 2,000,000 premature deaths every year.
The Alliance’s Executive Director, Radha Muthiah, welcomed the announcement of the draft bill, saying, “The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves applauds Senators Murphy and Collins' leadership in addressing rising levels of short-lived climate pollutants and black carbon, and their recognition of the role that clean cookstoves and fuels can play in mitigating emissions of these harmful pollutants.”
As part of the draft bill's comprehensive plan, the Department of State and the Environmental Protection Agency will be tasked to work with the Alliance “to help developing nations establish thriving markets for clean and efficient cooking solutions.”
In support of the bill’s proposed introduction, Senator Murphy hosted and moderated a panel discussion on super-pollutants with panelists Michael S. Parr, Manager of Government Affairs at Dupont, Elgie Holstein, Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the Environmental Defense Fund, and Sumi Mehta, Director of Programs at the Alliance.
Senator Murphy gave a brief overview of short-lived climate pollutants and the need for regulatory legislation. “What we are essentially talking about are non-carbon dioxide sources that have a particularly nefarious effect on the quickening pace of climate change,” Murphy said.” Michael Parr, discussed the disproportionate effect of climate change on the developing world and outlined current efforts towards global regulation of SLCPs, including the adoption of international standards by 2016. Dr. Mehta described how the Alliance’s promotion of clean cooking technologies directly addresses the problem of black carbon emissions caused by solid fuel and traditional stove use in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Mehta cited successful collaborations with the governments of China and India on the clean cookstoves front and she emphasized that the development of international standards for clean cooking technology would significantly contribute to the elimination of short lived climate pollutants.
Mr. Holstein stressed that SLCPs will have an immediate and measurable impact on both the environment and the health of millions in the next 5-10 years, not merely on future generations. For that reason, garnering the maximum amount of congressional support for the bi-partisan legislation remained a critical step towards prevention of climate change in the near term.
The proposed legislation, takes a number of steps to enable federal agencies to work with the business and non-profit communities to speed the adoption of SLCP-reducing technologies and policies, all while supporting American-led innovations to reduce these pollutants. “We look forward to contributing to this effort through the Alliance's market-based approach to the adoption of clean cooking solutions,” Muthiah said.