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Clinton To Announce 5-Year initiative To Cut Pollutants; Program Could Have Positive Public Health Impact

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is set to announce on Thursday morning a five-year initiative among the U.S. and five other countries — Canada, Sweden, Mexico, Ghana and Bangladesh — to cut pollutants that contribute to global warming, the Washington Post reports (Vastag, 2/15). “Short-lived climate pollutants such as methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) together account for approximately one-third of current global warming, and have significant impacts on public health, the environment, and world food productivity,” a State Department press notice states (2/15). “Soot from diesel exhausts and the burning of wood, agricultural waste and dung for heating and cooking causes an estimated two million premature deaths a year, particularly in the poorest countries,” the New York Times writes (Broder, 2/15).

Clinton “will be joined by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and senior representatives from Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, and the U.N. Environment Programme [UNEP],” according to the press notice (2/15). “The United States intends to contribute $12 million and Canada $3 million over two years to get the program off the ground and to help recruit other countries to participate,” the New York Times notes, adding that UNEP “will run the project” (2/15).