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November 24, 2011

Soot mitigation is cheap and the World will back into it as India and other poor countries get richer

A paper in the journal Science talks about the need to mobilize $100 billion per year to mitigate climate change. Preparing to Manage Climate Change Financing" in the journal Science.

Soot mitigation is a far easier and faster method of reducing climate change than targeting CO2. The soot only stays in the air for a few weeks so once we reduce the generation of soot it will have immediate impacts.

Five hundred million Smoke free cookers could be acquired for $50 to 100 billion (one year of the budget your propose). This would save lives from reduced indoor air pollution and alleviate the equivalent of 9% of global CO2.

I recognize that the world will end up backing into this action as one of the main countries that uses the wrong cookers is India. Over the next 10 to 15 years as India's per capita income heads to two to four times higher, they will replace the cookers. This process could be accelerated and 1.9 million indoor pollution deaths/year could be prevented and global warming could be reduced sooner.

Open burning of forests and savanna (42% of the soot production from open burning) to get more farmland could also be reduced as nations become wealthier.




Soot is linked to all kinds of health impacts.

Air pollution also increases droughts and floods

Stronger air pollution standards for cars and trucks.
Adding about $2000 per vehicle. for 50 million new cars and trucks would be $100 billion. This would reduce soot by about 40%.

Major emission sources of black carbon

* 42% Open biomass burning (forest and savanna burning)
* 18% Residential biofuel burned with traditional technologies
* 14% Diesel engines for transportation
* 10% Diesel engines for industrial use
* 10% Industrial processes and power generation, usually from smaller boilers
* 6% Residential coal burned with traditional technologies

Other technologies for reducing black carbon emmissions

For diesel vehicles in particular there are a several effective technologies available. Newer, more efficient diesel particulate filters (DPFs), or traps, can eliminate over 90% of black carbon emissions, but these devices require ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD).

Another technology for reducing black carbon emissions from diesel engines is to shift fuels to compressed natural gas. In New Delhi, India, the supreme court ordered shift to compressed natural gas for all public transport vehicles, including buses, taxis, and rickshaws, resulted in a climate benefit, “largely because of the dramatic reduction of black carbon emissions from the diesel bus engines.” Overall, the fuel switch for the vehicles reduced black carbon emissions enough to produce a 10 percent net reduction in CO2-eq., and perhaps as much as 30 percent.

Slash-and-char is an alternative to slash-and-burn that has a lesser effect on the environment. It is the practice of charring the biomass resulting from the slashing, instead of burning it as in the slash-and-burn practice.

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