The text below presents the most pressing and actionable recommendations from the parallel discussions. The recommendations specify the intended recipient(s) most suitable to take on the recommendations for actions. Since this was the 7th Saltsjöbaden workshop, we could build on previous experience and discuss new ways of thinking, to improve the uptake of the recommendations. The recommendations are organized in three groups. We first present an overarching recommendation, followed by a set of cross-cutting recommendations. Finally, we present specific recommendations from each parallel discussion. Some of the topic-specific recommendations have been moved to become part of the cross-cutting recommendations. Except for the overarching recommendation, the recommendations are not ordered with respect to importance. The recipient organizations for the recommendations are in most cases only mentioned using their initials. For explanation see the list of abbreviations at the end of the report. The order the organizations listed does not indicate any priority.
Consider setting a global target for air quality control
A global environmental agreement for air pollution does not exist. Common environmental targets, however, have proven to provide good motivation for ambitious cooperation both internationally and within countries. Such global targets have been inspirational for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (limit global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius), and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (protect 30 per cent of Earth’s lands, oceans, coastal areas and inland waters). In a similar way, a target for air pollution could be formed as a reduction of XX per cent between a base year and the target year. A suggestion presented at the workshop was that a 50 per cent improvement in health effects should be achieved by 2035. Such a target needs, however, to be further assessed and elaborated before presented at top-level meetings in key organizations. Future discussions also need to include possible targets for other air pollution effects.
Recipients: Air Convention Executive Body (EB), UNEP General Assembly, WHO General Assembly. Air Convention TFIAM & FICAP
Of the recommendations from the parallel discussions, four themes can be presented under common headings. These themes include various aspects of methane emission management, nitrogen management, integration of international environmental policies and efforts to communicate more effectively.
Increase action on methane as a tropospheric ozone precursor and as a key co-beneficial air pollution and climate change compound
For several of the Saltsjöbaden discussion groups, methane stands out as a problem that requires more attention from the air pollution science and policy communities. It is established that methane emissions at a hemispheric scale strongly affect the UN/ECE’s ability to reach regional targets for ground-level ozone concentrations. It is also established that much of the methane is co-emitted with ammonia emissions from agriculture. And particularly for the non-agricultural sources, there is an abundance of very cost-effective methane measures, some that also reduce emissions of fine particulate matter. Given that methane is a short-lived climate pollutant and air pollutant precursor, science and policy responses are needed to address the recommendations that follow.
Set binding methane targets and increase ambition on ammonia in environmental agreements
Recipients: Air Convention EB, EMEP, WGE, WGSR and corresponding bodies under the European Commission
Give high priority to the understanding of the methane/ozone problem and the development of international and national strategies for methane emission reductions to reduce ozone problems
Recipients: Air Convention EB, WGSR, TFIAM and parties to the Air Convention
Urgently prepare national positions on how to tackle emission reductions of methane as an ozone precursor
Recipients: parties to the Air Convention
Expand the mandate of TFRN to include agricultural methane emissions
Recipients: parties to the Air Convention
Mobilize resources, including financial resources, to support knowledge transfer to regions outside the UN/ECE on the importance of global-scale methane mitigation for air pollution abatement
Recipients: Air Convention FICAP