Ghana joined the US, Canada, Mexico and Sweden, together with the UN Environment Programme to launch the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants initiative.

The new global initiative is to seize the opportunity of realizing concrete benefits on climate, health, food and energy resulting from reducing short-lived climate pollutants.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched the initiative in Washington, D.C. on February 16, 2012 and Ghana was represented by its Ambassador to the US, H.E. Daniel Ohene Agyekum.

A statement from the US Department of State says the new coalition is the first effort to treat these pollutants together, as a collective challenge. “It will catalyze new actions and highlight and bolster the work of existing efforts such as the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the Arctic Council, the Montreal Protocol, and the Global Methane Initiative (GMI).”

The Coalition’s work will augment, not replace, global action to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), the statement added.

Mrs Clinton announced that the foundation partners are committing more than $15 million to get the coalition up and running “and the United States is proud to commit $12 million of new funding to this effort, in addition to the $10 million in annual support already provided to each of two existing efforts: the Global Methane Initiative and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.”

The coalition, officials said will reduce short-lived climate pollutants by driving the development of national action plans and the adoption of policy priorities; building capacity among developing countries; mobilizing public and private funds for action; raising awareness globally; fostering regional and international cooperation, and; improving scientific understanding of the pollutant impacts and mitigation.

Pollutants that are short-lived in the atmosphere such as methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) together account for approximately one-third of current global warming, have significant impacts on public health, the environment, and world food productivity.

By Ekow Quandzie/Ghanabusinessnews.com

Watch US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announcing the initiative in Washington

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