Issue Date: May 11, 2009
Administration Backs Plan For HFC Reduction
Under a treaty protecting stratospheric ozone, the Obama Administration is endorsing a plan for global cutbacks of manufacture and use of a class of synthetic greenhouse gases. The chemicals in question are hydrofluorocarbons, which do not harm Earth's protective ozone layer. HFCs are a family of refrigerants that have been substituted for ozone-depleting chemicals such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. According to the State Department, all countries are expected to increase use of HFCs, which are potent greenhouse gases, as they decrease use of HCFCs. "We risk solving one global environmental problem while possibly exacerbating another unless other alternatives can be found," the State Department said in a letter to the Montreal protocol secretariat. DuPont, a major producer of HFCs, says its supports the start of international discussions toward phasing down these compounds.
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