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Montreal delegates hold off on HFC amendment

Jeff Tollefson; cross-posted from The Great Beyond

<img alt=“roadtocopenhagen.jpg” src=“http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/roadtocopenhagen.jpg” width=“150” height=“220” align=“right” hspace=“10px”//>International delegates to the Montreal Protocol wrapped up their meeting in Port Ghalib, Egypt, over the weekend without taking formal action to curb hydrofluorocarbons, modern refrigerants that are also poised to become a major contributor to global warming.

Some 41 countries joined in a declaration in support of regulating HFCs as greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol, according to the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development and the Environmental Investigation Agency. This is in addition to support in North America and Europe as well as Micronesia and Mauritius, which have led the proposal.

Ozone-friendly HFCs represent the culmination of the Montreal Protocol’s original mission; regulating them as greenhouse gases would require an amendment expanding the protocol’s regulatory umbrella. In Egypt, Montreal delegates called on a technical committee to analyze alternatives to the chemicals in advance of a potential decision next year. For background, see our previous coverage here and here.

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