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U.S. backs proposal to cut HFC greenhouse gases.

WASHINGTON, Sept 16, 2009 (TAP) - The United States, Canada and Mexico have proposed using an existing international protocol to reduce emissions of potent greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in refrigerators and air conditioners, the State Department said on Tuesday.<p>The State Department said the three countries believed the Montreal Protocol, which regulates hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) blamed for depleting the ozone layer, could also help phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling equipment, which are expected to increase sharply in coming years.

The proposal signals U.S. backing for plans to deal with HFCs through the Montreal Protocol rather than attempt to write them into a new climate treaty due to be negotiated in Copenhagen in December.

"The proposal calls on all countries to take action to reduce their consumption and production of HFCs, although developed countries would take the lead in this effort," a department statement said.

While HFC uses are now relatively limited, they are expected to grow sharply in coming years and could exacerbate the problem of global warming.

"As the demand for air conditioning and refrigeration increases globally, and as countries accelerate their efforts to phase out HCFCs to protect the ozone layer, producers of such products will turn increasingly to HFCs unless suitable alternatives can be identified," the department said.

It said the United States looked forward to working with its partners ahead of the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol parties in Egypt in November as well as the December Copenhagen summit aimed at producing a treaty to take over for the Kyoto Protocol which curbs greenhouse gas emissions.

Tap 2009

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Publication:Agency Tunis Afrique Press
Date:Sep 16, 2009
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