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Pulling the Second Lever: Regulating Black Carbon to Combat Global Warming

December 2016

Citation: 46 ELR 11034

Issue: 12

Author: Emily Baer

Black carbon, a component of soot and the result of incomplete combustion, is one of the most climate-forcing substances in existence. While black carbon is currently unregulated internationally, the technology to substantially reduce emissions exists and is readily available to curb some of the worst sources and those most dangerous to human health. Black carbon’s short life in the atmosphere makes it a low-hanging fruit in the world of climate change reduction, and regulations to curtail it should be introduced immediately. To effectively control black carbon emissions, comprehensive international regulation is needed. This regulation should be contained in a multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) and must include a process for monitoring and ongoing research, strict standards on emissions, funding mechanisms including emissions trading, and a dispute resolution procedure in order to achieve successful implementation. This Comment proposed an MEA for the regulation of black carbon.

Emily Baer is a managing editor on the Journal of Energy and Environmental Law at the George Washington University Law School, where she expects to graduate in May 2017 and focuses on international and environmental law.

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