Ecojustice Blog – Climate change Posted on July 25, 2012 (updated: February 17, 2015)

Nobel Scientists Agree – Stop Soot Now!

Kimberly Shearon headshotKimberly ShearonStaff

Last week Ecojustice launched Stop Soot, a video campaign that calls on the Canadian government to stop the number two cause of global warming – black carbon emissions otherwise known as soot.

That call to action is also being echoed by the man who won a Nobel prize for sounding the alarm about the ozone layer – Dr Mario Molina. Dr. Molina and other leaders at the National Academy of Sciences have stated that reducing soot (black carbon) could slow global warming by as much as two decades and help give the world time to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and stabilize our warming climate.

Researchers consider black carbon (soot) an ideal target for achieving quick mitigation because it only remains in the atmosphere a few days to a few weeks and can be reduced by expanding the use of diesel particulate filters for vehicles and clean-burning or solar cookstoves to replace those burning dung and wood. With indoor air pollution killing 1.6 million people a year, global action to cut soot emissions would reap major benefits for both public health and climate.

“If we reduce black carbon emissions worldwide by 50 percent by fully deploying all available emissions-control technologies, we could delay the warming effects of CO2 by one to two decades and at the same time greatly improve the health of those living in heavily polluted regions,” said Dr. Ramanathan.

The report wants efforts to reduce C02 to be complimented by strategies that can have an immediate impact in the atmosphere like stopping soot and reducing other non-CO2 climate change agents. We agree.

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