United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chief scientist Joseph Alcamo on Tuesday called for more efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) so as to slow down global warming.
In an interview with Xinhua, Alcamo said that reducing SLCPs will also protect human health, and in some cases, reduce air pollution.
According to the UNEP, SLCPs, such as black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and some hydrofluorocarbons, are not only responsible for a substantial portion of global warming but also have detrimental effects on human health, agriculture and ecosystems.
A study conducted by the UNEP with nearly 100 scientists around the world found that concentrating on reducing SLCPs can see the global warming rate halved by the middle of this century, according to Alcamo.
However, the chief scientist said, reducing SLCPs as an isolated measure won’t slow down long-term climate change. “You have to do both,” he said, stressing that carbon dioxide emissions should also be focused on so as to realize a green economy.
China is taking admirable steps to reduce its amount of carbon dioxide emitted per person, and the energy efficiency of the rapidly developing country has certainly improved in recent decades, Alcamo said, noting that there is still potential as the economy gets bigger.