Anil Agarwal Dialogue 2015 - The poor in climage change

The world is clearly slipping on its targets to reign in heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Action on cutting carbon dioxide emissions is not easy as the world has to re-invent growth as it knows it today to reduce emissions, and it has to share that growth between nations. In the past few years, attention has turned to the basket of gases known as ‘short-lived climate pollutants’ – which unlike carbon dioxide have a much shorter life in the atmosphere. Out of these, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had long recognized methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons as greenhouse gases. In the mid-2000s, another candidate emerged, black carbon – the dark core of particulate matter, which is a product of incomplete combustion and already a deadly local pollutant, contributing to high health burden.