HFC refrigerants could be tackled to mitigate climate change

When CFC and HCFC refrigerants were tackled by the Montreal Protocol to address stratospheric ozone depletion many users of refrigeration, air conditioning and foaming equipment switched to hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs. Now a Nobel Laureate chemist is proposing that the Montreal Protocol should be used to control HFCs because they are making a major contribution to climate change.

In an article in The Hill, a newspaper aimed at the Washington DC Congressional community, Nobel Laureate Mario Molina and Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development in Washington DC, have proposed that by focussing on reducing emissions of black carbon and HFCs, the world can reduce the rate of global warming in half. Black carbon emissions can be controlled through existing national and state laws while HFC use and emissions can be controlled with the Montreal Protocol. Response of the climate system to reductions in emissions of these two substances would, according to these two scientists, happen very quickly.

Some countries that are at serious risk from climate change are already proposing that the next Conference of the Parties to the Montreal Convention on Ozone Depleting Substances address the HFC problem. While action is unlikely to have immediate effect, GallonDaily suggests that current users of HFCs and companies that want to demonstrate their environmental leadership should begin to plan a path away from these very high global warming potential chemicals.

For more information visit http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-a-environment/210599-how-to-cut-climate-change-in-half

A scientific article on the same topic appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2009 and can be read at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/10/09/0902568106.full.pdf%2Bhtml


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