History of SLCPs

In the following, a short overview of developments in the area of SLCPs is given. It contains brief information on scientific projects, seeking to improve knowledge about SLCPs, on reports on scientific evidence gained about properties and impacts of SLCPs, on initiatives, aiming to reduce SLCP and precursor emissions with specific measures, and on international conventions, targeting specific actions facing the SLCP challenge.

The descriptions of the different 'milestones' stick to the original notation of the respective initiative. As an example, the frequently used term Short-Lived Climate Forcer (SLCF) describes in general the same class of substances as the term used by the ClimPol project, Short-Lived Climate-forcing Pollutants (SLCP), even though in some cases specific compounds might not be included by the referenced authors.


Geneva Convention on Long-range ,Trans-boundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP).


Foundation of AirClim, the Air Pollution and Climate Secretariat.


Gothenburg Protocol of the 1979 Geneva Convention on Long-range Trans-boundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP).


Creation of the Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) project, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), based on observations of polluted air over the Himalayas.


The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes updated air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.


The World Health Organization (WHO) publishes a report on health risks of particulate matter from long-range, trans-boundary air pollution.


Atmospheric Brown Clouds: Regional Assessment Report with Focus on Asia, first impact assessment of the ABC project.

2009, April

The Tromsø Declaration of the Arctic Council creates a Task Force on Short-Lived Climate Forcers.

2009, October

Launch of Project Surya, aiming at understanding the impacts and mitigation potential of black carbon from traditional cookstoves.

2010, September

Founding of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

2011, July and November


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) publish The Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone. The UNEP further publishes the report Near-term Climate Protection and Clean Air Benefits: Actions for Controlling Short-Lived Climate Forcers.


2011, September

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, addresses the topic of SLCFs.


Creation of Air Pollution and Climate, a Science-Policy Dialogue, by the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project (IGAC).


The Impact of Black Carbon on Arctic Climate, technical report published by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), working group of the Arctic Council.

2012, February

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) is founded by the governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, The United States of America and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

2012, March

The Nordic Council of Ministers publishes the Svalbard declaration on SLCFs.

2012, March

High level international workshop held on SLCPs in Potsdam.

2012, May

Negotiations on revising and updating the 1999 Gothenburg Protocol.

2012, May

Statement by the Nordic Council of Ministers: Arctic in need of first aid. Emissions of black carbon and methane must be cut now.

2012, June

Report by the World Health Organization (WHO): Health Effects of Black Carbon.

2012, July

Most G8 countries, including Germany, join the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

2012, August

Creation of the Latin American Network for the Reduction of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (RACC) by NGOs and scientists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Paraguay.

2012, September

Meeting of government officials, policy makers, environmental experts, and industrial stakeholders from 15 countries to discuss ways to reduce emissions of SLCPs, held in Accra, Ghana.