Soot, also known as black carbon, is the second-leading cause of global warming after carbon dioxide, and it's totally preventable. We already have the technology to avoid producing it; it's just a matter of using it.
We need tighter standards on diesel fuel at home, and we need to finance technology transfer abroad. Reducing black carbon now will buy precious time for the Arctic, and improve public health.
In an op-ed, attorney Erika Rosenthal and professor Martin Williams discuss how Arctic nations have an extraordinary opportunity to show global leadership to slow regional warming and melting by embracing a proposal to launch talks on an agreement to reduce emissions of the climate pollutant black carbon.
Earthjustice, Clean Air Task Force and the American Lung Association released the report Sick of Soot in November 2011. The report summarizes the findings of a technical report showing that nearly 36,000 premature deaths could be prevented in the U.S. every year if the Environmental Protection Agency strengthens the health standards for soot pollution.
Read Sick of Soot to learn about fine particulate matter and how both short- and long-term exposure is dangerous to public health.