Climate Change

Short-lived Climate Pollutants

Organic waste decomposing at a landfill. Organic waste decomposition at landfills represents the third-largest source of human-generated methane emissions globally. Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) – such as methane, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and some hydrofluorocarbons – are a subset of greenhouse gases and aerosols that contribute to global warming and remain in the atmosphere for relatively short time periods. Reducing global SLCP emissions is important for mitigating near-term climate change, and can complement strategies aimed at reducing emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide. SLCPs are also air pollutants that negatively affect human health, ecosystems, and agriculture.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme and World Meteorological Organization, near-term mitigation of SLCPs could prevent:
  • A global temperature increase of 0.5° C/ 0.9° in 2050;
  • 2.4 million premature deaths from pollution; and
  • 30 million metric tons of annual staple crop losses.

Abt Associates supports efforts to reduce SLCP emissions through a range of analytical, capacity building, communications, and outreach activities that span multiple sectors and regions. For example, Abt has assisted clients in:
  • Developing tools for estimating and tracking SLCP emissions from different sectors and sources;
  • Analyzing the impacts of SLCP emissions on temperature changes;
  • Coordinating capacity building trainings for government agencies and their stakeholders to share best practices for SLCP mitigation;
  • Researching and synthesizing state-of-the-science knowledge about SLCP emissions, their impacts on climate and health, and potential mitigation benefits; and
  • Designing customized infographics, posters, fact sheets, webinars, and presentations to communicate about SLCPs to a wide range of audiences.

Abt’s efforts in this field directly contribute to significant international SLCP-focused initiatives, including the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants, the Global Methane Initiative, and the Arctic Council Task Force on Short-lived Climate Forcers. Our work on SLCPs also supports a range of domestic U.S. government efforts, including the President’s Climate Action Plan.

Read more about Abt’s work in climate change:
Global Climate Change: Strategies for Mitigating and Adapting to a Changing World

View a list of Abt's climate change experts.
Abt Pledges to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 80 Percent
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Abt Associates' Global Work in Climate Change
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