Close to 200 nations agreed to a legally binding deal over the weekend to target and reduce hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases. Factory-made HFC gases are used in air conditioning units and fridges and can be 10,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as greenhouse gases. HFCs replaced the previous use of CFC gases, which were even more damaging to the environment. HCFs are the fastest-growing greenhouse gases in the US, China, India, and the EU. If left unchecked, emissions of HFCs could grow to nearly 20% of CO2 by 2050 and 45% if CO2 emissions are limited in line with present international goals.
Under the agreement, developed nations, including the United States and much of Europe, commit to reducing their use of HFC gases incrementally, commencing with a 10% cut by 2019 that will increase to 85% by 2036.
More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world’s top carbon dioxide emitter, will begin taking action in 2024, siting that they needed more time because they have fast-expanding middle classes and hot climates, and fear of damaging their growing industries.
It is estimated that between 2020 and 2050, 70 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent, comparable to the emissions of nearly 500 million cars, will be prevented from entering the atmosphere thanks to a progressive reduction of HFCs.
The signing of this agreement is news that is dear to us at Thermal Energy International. We help our industrial and institutional clients reduce their environmental and carbon foot print while also saving them money through reduced fuel use.
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