US to ban chem­i­cals that have greener op­tions

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

THE US has de­cided to ban the use of chem­i­cals that have greener al­ter­na­tives. The move is ex­pected to re­duce car­bon diox­ide emis­sions by up to 42 mil­lion tonnes by 2020. This is equal to car­bon diox­ide emis­sions from an­nual elec­tric­ity use of more than 5 mil­lion homes. The United States En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency ( EPA) said it will tweak the Clean Air Act to "change the sta­tus of cer­tain high-global warm­ing po­ten­tial chem­i­cals" from "ac­cept­able" to "un­ac­cept­able". This will be EPA's sec­ond ac­tion aimed at re­duc­ing emis­sions of hy­droflu­o­ro­car­bons (HFCs), a class of po­tent green­house gases, un­der Pres­i­dent Obama's Cli­mate Ac­tion Plan. The new pro­posal com­ple­ments an ear­lier ac­tion EPA pro­posed to ex­pand the list of cli­mate-friendly al­ter­na­tives for re­frig­er­a­tion and air-con­di­tion­ing un­der its Sig­nif­i­cant New Al­ter­na­tives Pol­icy (SNAP) Pro­gram. SNAP eval­u­ates sub­sti­tute chem­i­cals and tech­nolo­gies that are safe for the ozone layer.

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