Sweden accelerates the transition towards HFC alternatives
written by Pavel Makhnatch (under supervision of Rahmatollah Khodabandeh and Björn Palm)
Sweden is committed to continue working actively with Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants. Accelerating alternatives to HFCs is one among a number of initiatives approved by coalition members for rapid implementation.
Five transformational initiatives aimed at accelerating and scaling-up action against a range of health, crop and climate-damaging pollutants were given the go-ahead by ministers meeting in the Stockholm on 24 April 2012.
The actions were taken by The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short Lived Climate Pollutants, which was launched by the governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the United States and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). These countries have come together in February this year to initiate the first effort to treat short lived climate pollutants (with initial focus on methane, black carbon, and HFCs), which are responsible for a climate change.
By date, new members have joined the coalition - namely Colombia, Japan, Nigeria, Norway and the European Commission along with the World Bank - scaling up the number of members to total of 13. As a result, Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "The European Commission is very pleased to join this Coalition. This initiative should complement the efforts needed under the UN climate change convention to cut global greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will limit global temperature increase to below 2°C".
Five initiatives have been finally approved for rapid implementation:
- Fast action on diesel emissions including from heavy duty vehicles and engines
- Upgrading old inefficient brick kilns which are a significant source of black carbon emissions
- Accelerating the reduction of methane emissions from landfills
- Speeding up cuts in methane and other emissions from the oil and gas industry
- Accelerating alternatives to HFCs
HFCs, which have been rapidly introduced as replacements to chemicals that can damage the ozone layer, are powerful greenhouse gases. By mitigating the use of HFC it is possible to limit the global temperature growth. The Coalition aims to fast track more environmentally-friendly and cost effective alternatives and technologies to avoid HFC growth.
These actions are some in number of actions taken by Sweden to combat global warming. Lena Ek, the Swedish Environment Minister, said: “Sweden is committed to continue working actively with this important coalition. Furthermore we are happy to announce our contribution to the Coalition Trust Fund with 1.4 MSEK for the UNEP Secretariat and 10 MSEK to concrete projects”.