Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is seeking to build trust with India on his first foreign trip since taking office, which comes just a few weeks after a military standoff between the Asian giants on their ill-defined border in the Himalayan mountains. Full Article | Slideshow
Confused while buying stocks? Get buy, sell or hold recommendations from VantageTrade. Full Coverage
Ozone treaty greenhouse gas proposals face battle
LONDON, June 22 |
LONDON, June 22 (Reuters) - Developing countries may thwart a North American effort to reduce the global use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas, a UN official said on Tuesday.
HFCs, which are a byproduct of refrigerant chemicals, trap over 12,000 times more heat than carbon dioxide.
Emerging nations including China, India and Brazil oppose a proposal by the United States, Canada and Mexico to include emissions of HFCs under a UN ozone treaty, said Marco Gonzalez, executive secretary of the UN's ozone secretariat. [ID:nN06224221]
"They are against this proposed amendment to the Montreal Protocol. This is the second time, as last year a similar proposal failed to get consensus," Gonzalez told Reuters by phone.
The developing countries argue that HFCs are not ozone-depleting substances and should be part of the UN's Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases rather than the Montreal treaty on ozone depletion.
Some nations warned at a Montreal Protocol meeting in Switzerland last week that adopting the amendment could undermine Kyoto, while others voiced concern over the cost of cutting HFCs, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) said in a briefing note.
Environmentalists have said the proposal would be a major victory in the fight against climate change. It has gained support from the European Union, Norway and New Zealand and may now be reviewed at a November meeting in Uganda.
The Montreal Protocol, signed by nearly 200 countries in 1987, has helped restore the earth's ozone layer, which shields life from the sun's harmful rays, by ending the production of chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
Manufacturers had moved away from CFCs to HFC-producing technology before it became known that HFCs were potent greenhouse gases.
The new North American proposal calls for a gradual phase down of HFCs beginning in 2014 and running to at least 2033.
"This is not a ban ... it's a very, very gradual phase down in the production and consumption of HFCs," Gonzalez said.
He added that the amendment would probably not affect any of the existing HFC-reduction projects registered under Kyoto's Clean Development Mechanism, some of which have been accused of abusing the scheme. [ID:nLDE659169]
China and India are home to most of these projects. (Reporting by Michael Szabo; Editing by Jane Baird)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this