The skies may look clearer these days. But don’t get too excited. Levels of smog and other short-lived climate pollutants (remember HFCs?) are still high and climbing.

The good news: There’s a long track record of international cooperation to get these harmful pollutants in check. The challenge: finding the political will to eliminate them entirely.

Short-lived climate pollutants include black carbon or soot, methane, hydrofluorocarbons and tropospheric ozone, or what we think of as city smog. In addition to heating up the atmosphere, they dirty our air, make people sick and affect the ozone layer.

In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to environmental litigator, professor, author and advocate Durwood Zaelke about why the world needs to prioritize non-carbon-dioxide greenhouse gases and what’s being done to curb them (with support from both sides of the political aisle).

Zaelke is the founder and president of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development in Washington, D.C. and Paris, where he focuses on rapidly deployable mitigation strategies to protect the climate. He’s received numerous awards for his work on the Montreal Protocol and his efforts to enact the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs for climate protection.

Recommended reading:

Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. This episode is brought to you with support from Eavor, the first truly scalable form of clean baseload power. Learn more at Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Play or wherever you get podcasts.