Sunday, April 14, 2024

Practically Living Green

Showing practical reasons to live green.


The Biden Administration is cutting Hydrofluorocarbons By 85%

When the world came together to take immediate action to prevent the ozone hole from growing, they banned the use of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). In its place, Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) became prevalent in refrigeration.

However, while these are healthier for the ozone layer, they are far more potent in terms of the greenhouse effect. In fact, these gases are not just stronger than carbon dioxide, they even make methane emissions seem mundane.

The truth is hydrofluorocarbons are hundreds or thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of heat-trapping.

What Are HFCs Used For?

Air Conditioning

HFCs are used in many industries, but most notably, they are found in refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosol propellants, and are used in the production of foams.

As you can imagine, refrigerators and air conditioners can be found in most households. By finding a better solution, the administration can save the equivalent of 4.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050.

That’s the same amount that the US power sector produces over a three-year period. It is massive, to say the least.

And that’s just the US. It’s definitely going to have an impact on the rest of the world. As manufacturers in other nations that want to sell their products in the US, the largest economy in the world must follow these guidelines.

Realistically the amount of heat-trapping gas removed could be several times higher as a result of this action.

What Is the Administration Proposing?

The goal is to reduce Hydrofluorocarbons usage by 85% over the next 15 years. And it will begin by reducing the usage by 10% next year.

The administration plans to accomplish this by setting limits on the production and importing of HFCS. It will also crack down on any illegal trading that involves HFCs and invest $8 million into finding an alternative over the next five years.

Last year, Congress cracked down on polluting gases with bipartisan legislation, and HFCs fall into the jurisdiction of that bill. This gives the EPA the power to begin incrementally slowing the production of HFCs.

This helps the administration take immediate action instead of having to pass new legislation or executive actions.

Another Big Announcement For the Biden Administration

For those that have been paying attention, the administration has been ramping up its climate efforts to reinforce its commitment to the environment.

This announcement came on the same day that President Biden addressed the UN General Assembly. There, he announced that the US will be increasing the amount of money it will offer developing nations to use greener technology.

And all of this comes before the climate conference, which most suspect an even larger announcement is waiting.

This is also a political move on the international level. By ramping up US climate action, it puts pressure on other nations to do the same. It also helps the US shake off the last few years of not doing much to fight climate change.

It’s the equivalent of telling the world that the US is back at the forefront of fighting climate change.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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