Self-confessed alternative blogger Nicholas Cox takes a swipe at the US
The motivation behind US moves to shift HFCs from the Kyoto Protocol into the Montreal Protocol is now becoming clearer.
“We do not agree that HFCs should remain in the Kyoto basket and be subject to a full carbon price,” said Mack McFarland, chief atmospheric scientist of Dupont. “We believe that HFCs should be treated separately from other gases.
“Because they can be found in cars, refrigerators and air-conditioners, they cannot be controlled at the point of emissions when they eventually escape into the atmosphere from hundreds of millions of pieces of discarded equipment.” (Did he really mean to say that – isn’t this rather “off-message” as far as F-Gas Works is concerned?)
McFarland is also concerned that subjecting HFCs to a carbon price would have a sudden and shocking impact on consumers. For example, at a price of $25 a ton for CO2, the HFC R410a would have a value of $50,000 a ton – or $50 a kilogram – because its GWP is more than 2,000 times greater than CO2.
That would mean that the three kilograms of refrigerant in a typical air conditioner would suddenly add $150 in additional carbon charges alone, which by the time it worked its way up the value chain could add hundreds of dollars to the price charged to consumers.
So it seems that the motivation is to protect US industry rather than the environment. Even so, the finalised US climate bill might actually work! The original version allowed for total emissions of up to 5.9 billion tonnes CO2 between 2013.