Policy opportunities


The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the globe. Beside carbon dioxide (CO2), black carbon emissions accelerate the warming and the melting of the snow and ice. Black carbon emissions are mostly caused by human activities, such as heating and transportation, when fossil fuels, biofuels and biomass are burnt incompletely.

Because black carbon remains in the atmosphere only days, reductions of black carbon emissions could slow down the warming relatively quickly. Efficient black carbon mitigation options include cleaner fuels and enhanced combustion devices for household heating and cooking and particulate filters for diesel engines.

Policy actions are needed to promote the implementation of the mitigation measures. Examples of on-going processes that address among other things black carbon are international collaboration within the Arctic Council and its working groups, specifically the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) and the Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP) as well as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

The solutions to mitigate black carbon are local in nature targeting people's everyday activities like cooking or moving. Therefore national and local actors should also take active role in designing and assessing the feasibility of policies and technologies to reduce emissions of black carbon.

iceberg Photo: Antti Samuli

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