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Air Quality and Climate Change as Integrated Policy - Research Paper Example

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Change in climate is affected by common pollutants like ozone. Ozone is an example of a greenhouse gas, or GHG. The dispersal and absorption of solar radiation by other particle pollutants also affect the climate. The amount of particles…
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Air Quality and Climate Change as Integrated Policy
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Air Quality and Climate Change as Integrated Policy Air quality and climate are interrelated. Change in climate is affected by common pollutants like ozone. Ozone is an example of a greenhouse gas, or GHG. The dispersal and absorption of solar radiation by other particle pollutants also affect the climate. The amount of particles and ozone has a lot to do with meteorology and climate because of their effect to the production of precursors that originate from natural sources. This trend is what makes air quality and climate distinct elements but at the same time closely connected. (Climate Change and Air Quality)
Ozone and black carbon do not stay in the atmosphere for a long time, unlike long-lived GHGs such as carbon dioxide. Short-term pollutants do not get evenly distributed in the atmosphere. Thus, this factor should be given a great deal of attention so as to decrease their emission. Doing so will help in providing immediate resolution that will lessen climate change rate and reduce the likelihood of global warming. Likewise, strategies in decreasing the emissions of long-lived GHGs must also be regarded as an urgent concern.
In its 2004 report entitled Air Quality Management in the United States, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) suggested the integration of air pollution and climate change policies because of the found links between air quality and climate (Climate Change and Air Quality). This initiative would help in decreasing the emissions of known causes of air quality problems. At the same time, it would reduce negative impacts related to climate change.
Integrating air quality and climate change policy is considerably a wise approach. It yields a number of benefits, such as in saving costs and protecting public health and the environment. It also facilitates sustainable development and helps in decreasing the carbon level in society.
The success of this integration pursuit entails global consensus and needs authority that would give a broader view and proper implementation of formulated strategies. During a major conference on “Air Pollution and Climate Change: Developing a Framework for Integrated Co-benefits Strategies”, presented by the Global Atmospheric Pollution Forum in September 2008 (Hicks & Kuylenstierna, 2008), the co-benefits of air quality and climate change policies were shown. This conference has set a foundation for the improvement of global advocacy on air pollution.
In the said forum, it was pointed out that there was urgent need to integrate the two policies as suggested by current science. Treating air pollution and climate change separately, like in industrialized and developing countries, may worsen the level of carbon and pollutants in the environment and may serve as a hindrance to sustainable development. Developing countries generally seek to alleviate poverty and improve economy, air quality and public health. However, adopting the integrated approach provides a combined achievement in air quality management and GHG mitigation. (Air Pollution and Climate Change: Developing a Framework for Integrated Co-benefits Strategies, 2008)
Lack of coordination with negotiators and important policy makers, failure to review issues and evidence, and lack of awareness among key stakeholders could be the major obstacles in carrying out this integrated policy.
Policies related to individual behaviors are effective for both climate change and air quality. However, given the close connection of these two issues, the effectiveness of policies would be maximized best when the two sets of policies are integrated.
References:
Air Pollution and Climate Change: Developing a Framework for Integrated Co-benefits Strategies. (2008, September 17-19). Retrieved February 20, 2012, from www.sei-international.org: http://www.sei-international.org/rapidc/gapforum/html/conf/Stockholm_Co-benefits_Main_Conclusions.pdf
Climate Change and Air Quality. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2012, from www.epa.gov: http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/2010/report/climatechange.pdf
Hicks, K. & Kuylenstierna, J. (2008). SEI Stockholm Environment Institute. Retrieved February 19, 2012, from www.sei.se: http://www.sei-international.org/mediamanager/documents/Publications/Climate/air_pollution_climate_change_policy.pdf Read More
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