This page last reviewed December 19, 2016
Reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in California
- The location for the March 23-24, 2017 Public Board Meeting has changed. The updated public notice can be viewed here.
- Resumen Ejecutivo del Articulo Final de La Estrategia de Contaminantes Climaticos de Corta Vida (Executive Summary of Final SLCP Report)
- Public workshops in Fresno, Diamond Bar and Sacramento have concluded and have been listed at the Archived Meetings and Documents Portal.
- Revised Proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Reduction Strategy and relevant appendices have been released for public review and comments. Download links are provided below.
- The comment period on the Revised Proposed SLCP Strategy and Revised Draft Environmental Analysis ended on January 17, 2017 and submitted comments can be viewed here.
What are Short-Lived Climate Pollutants?
Short-lived climate pollutants are powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than longer-lived climate pollutants, such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Their relative potency, when measured in terms of how they heat the atmosphere, can be tens, hundreds, or even thousands of times greater than that of CO2. The impacts of short-lived climate pollutants are especially strong over the short term. Reducing these emissions can make an immediate beneficial impact on climate change.
Climate Pollutants include three main components:
- Black carbon is a component of fine particulate matter, which has been identified as a leading environmental risk factor for premature death. It is produced from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass burning, particularly from older diesel engines and forest fires. Black carbon warms the atmosphere by absorbing solar radiation, influences cloud formation, and darkens the surface of snow and ice, which accelerates heat absorption and melting. Diesel particulate matter emissions are a major source of black carbon and are also toxic air contaminants that have been regulated and controlled in California for several decades in order to protect public health.
- Fluorinated gases (F-gases) are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in California and globally. They include ozone-depleting substances that are being phased out globally under the Montreal Protocol, and their primary substitute, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Most F-gas emissions come from leaks of these gases in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. Emissions also come from aerosol propellants, fire suppressants, and foam-expansion agents.
- Methane (CH4) is the principal component of natural gas. Its emissions contribute to background ozone in the lower atmosphere (troposphere), which itself is a powerful greenhouse gas and contributes to ground level air pollution. The atmospheric concentration of methane is growing as a result of human activities in the agricultural, waste treatment, and oil and gas sectors. Capturing methane from these sources can improve pipeline safety, and provide fuel for vehicles and industrial operations that displaces fossil natural gas use.
The Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Strategy
SB 605 (Lara, Chapter 523, Statutes of 2014) directed ARB to develop a comprehensive short-lived climate pollutant strategy, in coordination with other state agencies and local air quality management and air pollution control districts. SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) requires the Board to approve and begin implementing the plan by January 1, 2018. ARB staff released a proposed SLCP Strategy in April 2016 and a revision to the SLCP Strategy in November 2016. ARB staff will present the final Proposed SLCP Strategy to the Board for approval in early 2017.
- Appendix A: Senate Bill 605
- Appendix B: Senate Bill 1383
- Appendix C: California SLCP Emissions
- Appendix D: Research Related to Mitigation Measures
- Appendix E: Revised Draft Environmental Analysis for the Proposed SLCP Reduction Strategy
- Appendix F: Supporting Documentation for the Economic Assessment of Measures in the SLCP Strategy
Staying in Touch
To receive electronic notices of future meetings and availability of materials, you can sign up with the climate change list server at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/listserv/listserv_ind.php?listname=cc