Cutting these climate super pollutants protects our environment, strengthens our economy, and demonstrates that America is back when it comes to leading the world in addressing climate change. — Michael S. Regan, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Cutting these climate super pollutants protects our environment, strengthens our economy, and demonstrates that America is back when it comes to leading the world in addressing climate change. — Michael S. Regan, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

This is a slam dunk, plain and simple. Phasing down HFCs will support American leadership in manufacturing and innovation, bring down global temperatures, strengthen our economy, and help save our planet. — Senator Tom Carper, Democrat of Delaware
This is a slam dunk, plain and simple. Phasing down HFCs will support American leadership in manufacturing and innovation, bring down global temperatures, strengthen our economy, and help save our planet. — Senator Tom Carper, Democrat of Delaware

Biden Administration Makes First Major Move to Regulate Greenhouse Gases
The Biden administration on Thursday finalized its first major regulation to directly limit greenhouse gases, part of an effort to show America’s progress on global warming before a crucial climate summit in Glasgow in November.

The measure would curb the production and use of potent planet-warming chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are used in air-conditioners and refrigerators. Without the new regulation, President Biden would be in danger of arriving at the United Nations summit in Glasgow with few concrete emissions-reducing measures to back up his calls for global action against climate change.

Mr. Biden has vowed to cut United States emissions 50 percent to 52 percent below 2005 levels in the next decade. But legislation that includes policies to cut carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, the most prevalent greenhouse gas and the most politically difficult to address, faces uncertain prospects in a sharply divided Congress.

“The outlook for meaningful broad-based climate legislation is not very good,” said Robert N. Stavins, an environmental economist at Harvard. He said that makes regulatory actions to curb HFCs and methane, another potent greenhouse gas, “vastly more important.”

The new Environmental Protection Agency rule, which goes into effect next month, puts into effect legislation that Congress approved under President Donald J. Trump. Unlike efforts to curb fossil fuels, plans to reduce HFCs have won broad support from both Democrats and Republicans, as well as industry groups and environmental organizations.

The regulation would reduce HFCs by 85 percent over the next 15 years. According to the White House, that will be the equivalent of eliminating 4.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050, or about three years’ worth of climate pollution from the electricity sector.

Under the new rule, the E.P.A. will reduce the production and use of HFCs incrementally, starting with a 10 percent reduction next year. The White House also announced an $8 million investment over the next five years to encourage the use of alternative chemicals and to bolster enforcement efforts to crack down on the illegal production and importation of HFCs.

“Cutting these climate super pollutants protects our environment, strengthens our economy, and demonstrates that America is back when it comes to leading the world in addressing climate change,” Michael S. Regan, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said in a statement.

Industry executives said they had put aside their typical distaste for government rules to support the measure because it would help domestic manufacturers. With other countries moving away from HFCs, many described the rule as protecting the $206-billion-a-year industry by helping to put all manufacturers on a level playing field and helping support alternatives.

... Environmental groups described the new regulation as critical to putting the United States on a path to cut emissions 50 percent to 52 percent from 2005 levels by the end of this decade, as Mr. Biden has promised, and to keeping the planet from warming beyond a dangerous threshold.

“Moving from HFCs to climate-friendlier alternatives is an important part of President Biden’s plan to meet the climate crisis,” said David Doniger, senior strategic director of the climate and clean energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Senator Tom Carper, Democrat of Delaware, said the E.P.A. rule would create jobs.

“This is a slam dunk, plain and simple,” Mr. Carper said in a statement. “Phasing down HFCs will support American leadership in manufacturing and innovation, bring down global temperatures, strengthen our economy, and help save our planet,” he said.
Read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/23/climate/hydrofluorocarbons-hfc-climate-change.html