FSM Continues to Lead on Tackling Climate Under Ozone Treaty
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): April 30, 2010 - Today, the Federated States of Micronesia submitted a proposal to phase down a group of "super" greenhouse gases under the Montreal Protocol ozone treaty. The proposal is similar to the one submitted last year by FSM, which calls for a phase-down of the production and consumption of HFCs, which are primarily used in refrigeration, air conditioning and foam-blowing applications. Phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol can prevent warming emissions equivalent to 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
"For our islands and other vulnerable States to survive, the overall increase in global temperature must be limited to less than 1.5 C above pre-industrial temperatures," said FSM President Emanuel Mori. "To achieve this goal, we must take fast action to reduce all of the causes of global warming, including HFCs."
Carbon dioxide is only about half of the climate problem. The other half of the climate problem is caused by other warming pollutants such as HFCs, methane, ground-level ozone, and black carbon soot. President Mori championed the phase-down of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol as an important climate strategy during the Copenhagen climate negotiations and during the meetings leading up to Copenhagen .
HFCs are short-lived climate forcers which can be hundreds to thousands of times more powerful in warming the climate than CO2, but which remain in the atmosphere for much less time than CO2. Their reductions will result in near-term climate benefits while the world will not see significant benefits from CO2 reductions for perhaps 1,000 years.
"We must aggressively reduce these warming pollutants in addition to reducing carbon dioxide," said Amb. Masao Nakayama, Permanent Representative of FSM to the UN. "By doing so, we can extend the time already bought by past actions under the Montreal Protocol to slow climate change, while the challenge of carbon dioxide emissions is dealt with in the longer term."
Last year's joint proposal submitted by FSM and Mauritius gathered support from over 40 countries, and this year FSM is ready to bring that number to 196 - the total number of countries Party to the Protocol. The United States , Canada , and Mexico are already supporting an HFC phase-down, having submitted their own joint proposal today.
"Phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol is one of the most important things we can do to protect the future of our beloved island homeland, and likely also for the global community as we know it today," added President Mori.
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