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Reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants – A Global Green Freight Action Plan

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In the global Green Freight Action Plan, committed governments and companies will expand and harmonize green freight programs that will generate reductions in black carbon and CO2 emissions from multimodal goods movement, while also enhancing fuel efficiency and energy security, fostering innovation in the global freight transportation supply chain, protecting public health and reducing near term climate change. 

High-Impact Area: Short-lived climate pollutants

Problem StatementThe movement of freight is a major and rapidly increasing contributor of (CO2) and black carbon emissions.  Black Carbon, or soot, a key component of Particulate Matter (PM), is a powerful climate forcer (second after CO2) and a dangerous air pollutant with multiple impacts on ecosystems and health - respiratory, cardiac disease, cancer and premature deaths. Motorized transport contributes around 20% of black carbon worldwide.

ObjectivesThe objective of the Global Green Freight Action Plan is to improve the energy efficiency and environmental performance of freight operations worldwide by:

  • Developing a framework to allow stakeholders to understand what is needed to enhance freight sector energy and environmental efficiency and significantly reduce CO2 and black carbon;
  • Providing a common roadmap to help coordinate green freight programs between regions and countries, and ease implementation;
  • Establishing roles and responsibilities for key actors to implement and support the Action Plan, as well as clear benefits and opportunities leveraged by participating in these efforts;
  • Providing a platform for stakeholders to share best practices and freight efficiency data, promote innovation, and communicate sustainability improvements of freight transportation.


Leadership Group: Canada, United States, International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT), Smart Freight Centre, and Clean Air Asia (under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition - CCAC)

Private sector partners: Leading companies, associations and initiatives which represent freight shippers, logistics providers, and carriers.

Additional partners:World Bank and other CCAC Partners.

Going Forward: The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) is a growing voluntary international partnership, bringing together nearly 90 State and non-State Partners pledged to enhancing global, regional, and national public and private efforts to reduce SLCPs with an initial focus on black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). As part of its initiative on Reducing Black Carbon Emissions from Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles and Engines, in November 2013, CCAC Partners endorsed a Call to Action on Green Freight to create broader awareness and encourage participation and engagement.  Led by a CCAC Green Freight Steering Group, next steps include:

  • An Executive Briefing Paper to engage key stakeholders and a TechnicalBackground Paper to assess status, gaps, barriers and opportunities for collaboration.
  • Consultations with leading companies, countries and civil society organizations to identify champions (by August) to help inform the development of the Plan.
  • Securing Ministerial commitment at a CCAC High Level Assembly, 22 September 2014 at the UN in New York, and announcement and/or launch of the Action Plan at the Climate Summitincluding recognition of companies and countries committed to supporting the Action Plan. CCAC aims to finalize all the elements in the Action Plan by the end of December 2014.
UN Focal Point for Summit:

CCAC Secretariat (UNEP), Helena Molin Valdes

For more information on the Green Freight Action Plan, please see here

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