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UCSD researchers: Where international climate policy has failed, grassroots efforts can succeed
Date:4/27/2012

g technologies to rural households in the developing world and preventing leaks in natural gas and methane lines could delay such effects by as much as 30 years. Other realistic changes in everyday life include stopping the use of solid coal for household heating, retrofitting or replacing older power plants and insulating homes to reduce their heating needs.

"The science is already there. The policy is there. So how do we implement it?" said Ramanathan, who will discuss prospects for controlling short-lived climate pollutants at the Stockholm conference. "It needs a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches."

The authors and other advocates of this new approach believe its large benefits to public health and agriculture as well as the relative affordability of adoption could garner it broad public support. They note that the Montreal Protocol, which banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons, was widely supported in part because people understood the tangible benefits from protecting against skin cancer and agricultural crop damage that came from it.

The authors cite policy changes that produced significant environmental improvements in locales such as California that could have a far-reaching effect if adopted globally. Use of improved filters in diesel-burning vehicles and reformulated gasoline cut California's black carbon emissions in half from 1989 to 2007. The state has also been a leader in planning adaptation strategies to climate problems that are likely to be inevitable regardless of mitigation efforts, the authors said.

Victor, Kennel and Ramanathan conclude that the success of these measures could reinvigorate efforts to create international policy to curb carbon dioxide emissions. These remain the chief sources of anthropogenic climate change and have climate effects that last for more than a century.

"We don't have to wait to get started on the climate problem," said Kennel. "We can work with communiti
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Contact: Robert Monroe
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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