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President Obama promises HFC cuts as part of his Climate Action Plan

President promises US ‘can and will lead through international diplomacy as well as domestic actions’ in cutting HFCs, on back of expected tripling of emissions by 2030.

The President’s Climate Action Plan, presented this week, addresses the reduction of HFC emissions through a numbr of means.

Emissions of HFCs are expected to nearly triple by 2030, and double by 2020 from current levels of 1.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

To reduce emissions, President Obama said the US ‘can and will lead’ both through international diplomacy as well as domestic actions. He said the US Administration has included an incentive in the fuel economy and carbon pollution standards for cars and trucks to encourage the carmakers to reduce HFC leakage and to transition away from the most potent HFCs in their air conditioning systems.

The US will also encourage private sector investment in low-emissions technology by identifying and approving climate-friendly chemicals via its SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) Programme, which also prohibits certain uses of the most harmful chemical alternatives.

The Administration itself has also been directed to purchase cleaner alternatives to HFCs whenever feasible, the President said.

The move follows a joint agreement with Chinese president Xi Jinping to work together with other countries to reduce the consumption and use of HFCs.

The move is seen as a way to encourage nations such as Brazil and India to join the effort to cut HFC use.

In February 2012, the United States launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollution, which has grown to include more than 30 country partners, along with other key partners such as the World Bank and the UN EnvironmentProgramme.

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