SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Black Carbon Significant to Climate Change
Atlanta, Ga. (January 16, 2013) – The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy welcomes a new landmark study, “Bounding the role of black carbon in the climate system: A scientific assessment,” that provides new evidence on the importance of black carbon (BC) as a climate pollutant. Scientists have known for more than a decade that black carbon contributes to global warming, but the significance of its role in warming the planet and any potential mitigation opportunities have been unclear. This report provides new evidence and clarity that should help encourage additional action to reduce this pollution. Statement from SACE Board President, John Noel: “Having personally walked on the Greenland ice sheet, I have seen first-hand the evidence of how black carbon acts as a heat generator and melts the ice surface. Black Carbon may be the most underrated climate forcer, and action should be taken to reduce it immediately.” Statement from SACE Clean Fuels Director, Anne Blair: “This report underscores the critical need to continue the fight to reduce diesel pollution. For close to a decade, SACE has advocated for diesel emission reductions to protect public health, which is still very critical. But, with the growing evidence of the role of black carbon in climate change, it is increasingly important that we focus on a comprehensive, targeted plan to cut emissions from diesel engines and other black carbon sources. This includes a commitment from large businesses, universities, fleets and other entities that contract or own diesel equipment to use new or retrofitted diesel equipment and vehicles. Our elected officials must not back down from supporting diesel clean up programs, but rather increase their commitment and funding to existing and new diesel clean programs in MAP-21 and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. These programs have proven their benefits in cutting emissions from this sector, specifically in construction equipment, shipping and across our logistics chains that heavily employ diesel equipment. Because black carbon is a short-lived pollutant, the benefits to the climate of clean up would be realized immediately. Let’s not wait, as we have with addressing carbon dioxide; let’s implement the readily available mitigation strategies now.” Some significant findings from the black carbon study include: ? The direct climate impacts of BC are nearly twice as great as previously believed (2007 IPCC’s Fourth Assessment), ranking BC “as the second most important individual climate-warming agent after carbon dioxide”. ? The study finds that diesel engines are the best target for mitigation, followed by brick kilns and residential stoves, and that cleaning up diesel engines could slow warming immediately. ? Confirmation that BC causes significantly higher warming over the Arctic from a combination of the warming effect on the atmosphere and the additional effect of black carbon darkening snow and accelerating the melting of Arctic snow and ice. Additional Resources: ? The report is available for download here. ? Visit our blog for more analysis here. # # # Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. For more information, visit www.cleanenergy.org .