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HFCs to be reduced?

By Paul Robinson - 10 Jun 2013 10:41:19 GMT
HFCs to be reduced?

No, it's not the hot, friendly cows. It's your refrigerator and air conditioning that's causing all the US and Chinese pollution of the ozone layer; Cow image; Credit: © Shutterstock

Emitters of the world unite. Presidents Obama and Xi Jinping lead the 2 biggest polluting nations (40% of the total)on the planet, as far as greenhouse gases are concerned. With all the carbon footprint arguments, it's easy to forget that many other gases contribute to our global warming. At least Obama hasn't got his opponents in the House of Representatives objecting to the science behind the climate change argument!

The 2 leaders, on a ranch in California, are now working together within the UN to, "phase down the production and consumption" of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).The current vernacular is to call these polluters super-greenhouse gases, probably in order to attract more attention to them rather than the more popular "brands."

By 2030, China will halt HFC production completely, helped by countries bound by the Montreal Protocol to help poorer countries. China is still accused of attempting to continue European Union money flowing in to earn carbon credits. By cleaning up China, they can maintain a little more dirty emission than they should.

However $385 million is involved in the Montreal Protocol relief, globally, so that should be enough. The let-off for China is that the Kyoto Protocol will be used to account for her emissions in the period up to 2030. The US itself sceptically failed to ratify Kyoto and must struggle to comply even now.

Greenhouse gas production rose in the US in 2010 and is unlikely to lessen as fracking simply replaces coal as the polluter of choice. Other countries such as Canada and new Zealand, along the obvious Russia and India, have also failed to follow the global trend to downsizing on their commitment to fossil fuels.

Solar and other renewable energy plans abound in China now, as they do in the US. The reaction to terrible pollution incidents in the US and in China is probably key to the mood at present, but the trouble with these "punishments" is that the correct reactions are only achieved if you keep beating the recipient. It won't work in other words unless there is more of Superstorm Sandy or Chinese cities covered in smog. You see, we can be sceptics, too!

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Topics: Greenhouse Gases / Climate