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A Call for Bold Regional and Global Actions to Reduce Black Carbon Emissions Impacting the Arctic

May 03, 2021

There is an urgent need to respond to the climate change, air pollution and health impacts of black carbon by reducing emissions. The technologies to reduce emission are available and existing regional and global fora can serve as platforms for coordinated policy action. These were the key messages at the virtual Forum: A Call for Bold Regional and Global Actions to Reduce Black Carbon Emissions Impacting the Arctic, organised by the EU-funded Action on Black Carbon in the Arctic and held 29 April 2021. The virtual Forum was well attended with 192 participants representing 31countries as well as global and regional organisations.

The Forum featured presentations of results from the EUA-BCA project and from OECD, including details on recent advances in black carbon emissions scenarios and assessments of the economic, social, environmental and health consequences of different strategies for reducing emissions. The speakers also highlighted the potential provided by best available techniques and by policy actions at the national, regional and international levels.

The presentations were followed by a high-level international panel discussion with representatives from the Arctic Council, UNECE Air Convention, OECD, Russia and China. Their engaging and forward-thinking policy discussions conveyed a consensus about the need for continued work under existing regional and global fora to take integrated policy actions. Further work is also needed on both the science and policy fronts, with calls for innovations and incentives that consider the specific challenges in different source sectors, including the need for education and awareness raising.

The event replay is accessible on YouTube here.

Video highlights:

All event documentation, speaker presentations, reports and poll results can be accessed here.


29 April | 14:00 - 16:30 CEST
14:00 – 14:05 Conference Welcome, Paul Adamson, Chairman, Forum Europe
14:05 – 14:10 Opening Remarks
Uffe Jensen, European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
14:10 – 14:15 Introduction
Michael Mann, EU’s Special Envoy for Arctic Matters / Ambassador at Large for the Arctic

Presentations on Advances in Black Carbon Knowledge and Practices to Reduce Emissions

14:15 – 14:25 Setting the Context: Why is Black Carbon a Major Concern in the Arctic and Globally, Kaarle Kupiainen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of the Environment, Finland
14:25 – 14:35 Baseline and Mitigation Scenarios on Current and Future Black Carbon Emissions,
Zbigniew Klimont, Research Group Leader, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

14:35 – 14:45 The Economic Benefits of Air Quality Improvements in Arctic Council Countries,
Shardul Agrawala, Head, Environment and Economy Integration Division, OECD Environment Directorate/Elisa Lanzi, Senior Economist, OECD Environment Directorate

14:45 – 15:00 From National to International Policy Options to Reduce Emissions, Stefan Åström, Senior Researcher and Project Manager, IVL, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute Sweden,
Mikael Hilden, Director, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland

15:00 – 15:30 Questions/Answers and Discussion Session with Speakers. Moderator – Annika E. Nilsson, Interdisciplinary Researcher and Science Writer, Science-Policy Interface, Sweden

15:30 – 16:25 Panel discussion: Forward Looking Regional Actions and Global Solutions to Curb Black Carbon Emissions Impacting the Arctic

Kristin Linda Árnadóttir, Chair of Arctic Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane (EGBCM); Anna Engleryd, Chair of the Executive Body UNECE Air Convention; Shardul Agrawala, Head, Environment and Economy Integration Division, OECD Environment Directorate; Shuxiao Wang, Professor, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, Nuritdin Inamov, Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, Acting Chair of the InterMinisterial Committee of the Project Support Instrument (PSI) of Arctic Council.

16:25 – 16:30

Closing Remarks: François Wakenhut, Head of Unit for the European Commission’s (EC) DG Environment Clean Air Unit