Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Reduction of Non-CO2 Emissions at COP16

Although a binding treaty on carbon dioxide (CO2) is unlikely at COP16, reductions in non-CO2 emissions are viable. Using Current technology we can reduce agents that cause global warming by approximately 50 percent. According to scientists, reducing the non-CO2 pollutants can delay additional climate warming by several decades. Among the non-CO2 pollutants are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), methane, tropospheric ozone, and black carbon soot.

Reductions in black carbon soot emissions could save many of 1.9 million lives lost each year. Capturing methane emissions from sources such as landfills and coal mines would also reduce global warming and the gas could be used as a source of energy.

It is also possible to quickly phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol ozone treaty. The US, Canada, and Mexico have already provided their support for this strategy. At a November meeting in Bangkok, 91 countries signed onto a declaration supporting the use of low-global warming potential substitutes instead of HFCs. This could reduce up to 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent in mitigation.


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