The Action

Why is black carbon a concern in the Arctic?

What is the European Union action on black carbon in the arctic?

The European Union (EU) Action, which runs from 2018–2020, will contribute to efforts to reduce black carbon emissions in the Arctic by:

  • Supporting the development of commitments and targets to limit production of Arctic black carbon, with a focus on the three regionally important human sources from Arctic nations (gas flaring from oil and gas fields, residential heating—including heating stoves and diesel fuel use—and maritime shipping); and
  • Enhancing international cooperation on black carbon policy in the Arctic region.

The action has four major work components:

  • Improving the knowledge base on black carbon emissions,
  • Increasing awareness and sharing knowledge,
  • Preparing technical advice documents and scenario analyses, and
  • Supporting development of a roadmap for international cooperation on black carbon.

Why is the EU interested in taking action on black carbon in the Arctic?

The Arctic is a strategically important region and is experiencing dramatic, transformative impacts from climate change. The EU recognizes the importance of taking action now on black carbon to reduce its warming effect on the Arctic, improve air quality, and protect human health. Cost-effective technologies to reduce black carbon emissions already exist and can be implemented now.

How can the EU influence the actions of Arctic nations?

The eight Arctic nations—Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States—are all members of the Arctic Council. The EU is also represented on the Arctic Council by its three members (Denmark, Finland, Sweden) and seven official Observer nations. The EU itself has ad hoc Observer status on the Arctic Council. The EU Action supports the Arctic Council’s work, and will contribute to the climate and clean air policies and health benefits of Arctic and non-Arctic nations through measures to reduce black carbon emissions.

The EU will also coordinate its work under the Action with other relevant international efforts addressing black carbon, including those under the UN Economic Commission for Europe’s Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Action will seek a future common direction (roadmap) for many nations and organizations to take action together to reduce black carbon emissions in the Arctic and its impacts related to climate change and human health.

      This project is funded by the European Union

      The Action is implemented through the EU Partnership Instrument providing 1.5 million EUR of funding for Action implementation during 2018-2020.