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US senators propose Super Pollutants Act for faster action on HFCs

US senators Chris Murphy and Susan Collins have announced plans to introduce the Super Pollutants Act of 2014 in bid to make faster cuts to HFCs, along with other short-lived climate pollutants such as methane and black carbon. They also want to see the government establish a taskforce to review current policies on the pollutants

Two US senators have announced plans to introduce the Super Pollutants Act of 2014 in bid to make faster cuts to HFCs, along with other short-lived climate pollutants such as methane and black carbon.

They want the Obama Administration to establish a task force to review specific policies and laws to the pollutants which they say currently account for 40 per cent or more of global warming.

“Cutting SLCPs is six times more effective in protecting the climate through to 2050 than cuts to CO2, but both are essential for staying within the 2C guardrail,” Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Senator Susan Collins of Maine ccsay.

The US, along with Canada and Mexico, Micronesia, and Morocco, have made formal proposals to phase down production and consumption of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, leaving accounting and reporting in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The G7 endorsed this strategy earlier this month, as did the G20 last September. President Obama and President Xi of China have negotiated two bilateral agreements on HFCs, including one last year to launch formal negotiations under the Montreal Protocol.

“The proposed legislation will reinforce the Administration’s international efforts to reduce SLCPs” they say.

The Act calls for the U.S. Agency for International Development to prioritize black carbon mitigation activities as part of aid distribution activities and to give special emphasis to projects that produce substantial environmental damage.

“The Super Pollutants Act will accelerate and coordinate Administration efforts already underway to reduce SLCPs”, said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, and “this will reinforce the President’s international leadership on this critical climate strategy. It’s essential to reduce SLCPs along with carbon dioxide to keep the climate within safe bounds.”

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