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. Addressing black carbon is a climate change solution that Canada can and should lead, and it is one of the biggest causes of warming in the Canadian Arctic — home to polar bears, caribou and indigenous cultures that have prospered there for thousands of years.

The region is dramatically changing — nearly 40 per cent of sea ice that was present in the 1970s has since melted — and Canada can and should lead the world in cutting black carbon and taking strong action to slow Arctic melting, fight global warming and save lives.

Canada and other developed nations must lead on this issue by creating stricter standards at home for diesel engines and other sources of black carbon pollution, and by committing increased assistance to the developing world to reduce black carbon pollution from diesel, home cooking, indoor heating and other sources.