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Key message: Controlling emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as black carbon or black soot, methane, carbon monoxide and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) could roughly halve projected warming over the next few decades while saving millions of lives and increasing crop yields by tens of millions of tons annually via improved air quality. These benefits would be obtained by reducing emissions of some SLCPs, such as black carbon and methane, that are at historically high levels, whereas emissions of others, such as HFCs, would have to prevented from growing from their current low levels. Thus the historical contribution of SLCPs to warming does not provide a good indication of the potential benefits achievable via policies to reduce current and projected emissions.
Recommendation: We recommend that the CCAC emphasize the potential benefits from SLCP emission control measures for near-term climate, human health, agriculture and ecosystems rather than the contribution of historical SLCPs to current warming.
Author: Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP)