14 May 2009 09:05:12
Tackling black carbon could bring US and China together
The US and China may have identified a common ground in their efforts to tackle climate change, according to the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD).
Reporting on conclusions drawn from a recent event organised by the Woodrow Wilson Center's China Environment Forum, the organisation suggested that attempts to reduce black carbon emissions could provide a platform for cooperation.
Black carbon is the dark-coloured soot produced by older diesel engines and the burning of some forms of biomass. After carbon dioxide (CO2), it is the single largest contributor to global warming.
Those in attendance at the forum heard that the substance stays in the atmosphere for a relatively short amount of time, meaning that an "aggressive" policy of reduction will produce noticeable results almost immediately.
However, it was warned that these efforts must complement, not replace, schemes to cut CO2 which remain essential to creating a sustainable future.
Durwood Zaelke, president of the IGSD, said: "Reducing black carbon emissions and other non-CO2 climate forcers like hydrofluorocarbons, methane and tropospheric ozone will help us avoid abrupt climate change and buy time to put a long-term climate strategy in place."
Last month, former US politician and environmental campaigner Al Gore called on the world to burn less wood and fuel in order to cut down global black carbon emissions.http://www.igsd.org/blackcarbon/index.php