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TRADING BETWEEN CO2 AND HFCS OR METHANE EMISSIONS REDUCTION STRATEGIES SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED

TRADING BETWEEN CO2 AND HFCS OR METHANE EMISSIONS REDUCTION STRATEGIES SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED

03.03.2014

Having considered emission reduction strategies for CO2 and compared them with strategies for SLCP (note 1) a recent scientific paperconcludes that the strategies should be pursued in parallel to mitigate future global temperature increase.

While HFCs or CH4 reductions have an immediate impact on the climate, this will happen for only a short time since they have a low atmospheric lifetime. These strategies can slow the temperature increase, but only in the next decades.

The only way to permanently slow the rate of warming is by reducing CO2 emissions, taking into account of the very long atmospheric lifetime of CO2 and its long-term warming impact; more than 20 % will remain for thousands of years in the atmosphere.

EFCTC supports proposed regulation

With the incoming EU F-Gas Regulation Review, and a future decision to regulate HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, some of the SLCP emissions will be reduced. However, importantly, the other aspect of climate mitigation, reducing CO2 emissions in parallel, must not be compromised by reducing the energy efficiency of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration equipment (see note 2).

Note 1 : Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) are substances such as black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have a relatively short lifespan in the atmosphere compared to carbon dioxide (CO2) and other longer-lived greenhouse gases (GHGs).
Note 2.: Energy-related CO2 emissions account for over 90% of the climate impact of typical air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.