ClimAct focuses on participation in and understanding of political forums that aim to drive climate action, with a particular emphasis on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). As participants in these political processes, ClimAct seeks to facilitate and shape societal transformations towards sustainability within the framework of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, ClimAct adopts a critical posture in examining how such national and international political processes advance - or potentially hinder - transformations toward sustainability. A core area of ClimAct expertise is in the linkages between air pollution and climate change - the combination of which was recently ranked as the top threat to global health.
Tackling air pollution and climate change: what can an integrated approach achieve?
ClimAct combines perspectives from the natural and social sciences with "real world" experience in political practice to examine the potentials and limits of an integrated approach to air quality and climate change within the context of broader political goals such as the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Key to ClimAct's perspective is our participation in and study of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), a voluntary transnational partnership that aims at reducing near-term global warming and improving air quality by focusing on key short-lived climate pollutants: methane (CH4), black carbon (BC), ground-level ozone (O3), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Researchers consider questions such as: Can local action on air pollution be leveraged to raise ambitions for international climate goals? Can the proliferation of smaller climate policy initiatives contribute to efforts to fulfil the Paris Agreement targets? What governance role does the CCAC play specifically within the climate policy landscape?
Building bridges between science and international climate politics
Based on its expertise and that of RIFS as a whole, ClimAct brings its inter- and transdisciplinary perspective to questions of climate and air quality governance and develops concrete policy recommendations. But going beyond providing policy advice in the traditional sense, ClimAct uses major international forums such as the UNFCCC and the CCAC as platforms for convening participatory and co-creative dialogues with actors from science, policy, and civil society.