Environmentalists attack UN f-gas report

Environmental group Mipiggs has published a strongly worded attack on a new UN study into the global warming potential of fluorocarbon chemicals (f-gases) used to replace ozone-depleting substances like CFCs.

The UN report summary, which focuses on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), suggests that greenhouse gas emissions from f-gases will not become as significant as previously predicted by the European Commission and green campaign groups.

The Mipiggs statement lists ten key concerns based on the information released so far. It asks national governments “to ensure that this report does not become the basis for decision making on HFCs in your countries, in the EU or more widely”.

The NGO’s central claim is that the report’s assumption that containment can reduce future HFC emissions is “pie in the sky optimism, not borne out by experience”. Instead, says Mipiggs, the report should have contained a comparison of policy options such as bans and taxes, as well as containment.

Mipiggs adds that the UN’s examination of ways to reduce f-gas use and emissions is “seriously inadequate” and contains “elementary errors”, such as not mentioning the potential for replacing f-gases in refrigeration and air conditioning.

Refrigeration industry group Epee meanwhile was delighted with the UN study, calling it “the most comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art technology and science and predictions for the future.”

Published with permission of Environment Daily

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