Montreal Protocol

Setback for EPA in Regulating Gases with High Global Warming Potential

DC Circuit vacates 2015 rule on HFCs

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 2015 EPA rule targeting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases that are used as refrigerants and propellants for a variety of purposes as a substitute for ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The court’s decision is a setback for President Obama’s …

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A House Divided

The climate change executive order shows the signs of the bitter divisions within the White House.

Actually, there are two divided houses. One is the House of Representatives. The other is the White House. The divisions in the House of Representatives were on display in the abortive effort to pass a health care bill.  Similar fissures in the White House are just below the surface of yesterday’s executive order on climate …

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October Surprises: A Month of Major Advances in Climate Policy

October has seen major strides toward controlling greenhouse gases.

As the campaign seems to get more and more awful, I thought you might like to hear some good news. Behind the tumult of the campaign, there has been real progress in addressing climate change in the U.S. and around the world.  In particular, there were four major advances just this month. The first is that …

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A gift from the Montreal Protocol parties to the Climate Convention

Montreal Protocol parties agree to negotiate amendment to limit HFCs

Last week, the parties of the Montreal Protocol took an important step to broaden their treaty’s chemical controls to contribute to limiting climate change. The chemicals at issue are the HFCs, or Hydrofluorocarbons. (Like the other halogenated chemicals relevant to ozone depletion, the acronym tells you the chemical composition of the class of chemicals. The …

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The Anticommunist Origins of Climate Denial

How Cold Warriors Wind Up Heating the Planet

The other night, my wife and I saw Merchants of Doubt, Robert Kenner’s new film about the climate denial industry. I thought it was excellent. I was surprised by the high production values and the way in which it did not feel like a documentary, at least until the last 15-20 minutes or so. (Then …

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Can We Replace HFCs?

What was supposed to be an informal meeting between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping has yielded something substantive: an agreement to include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol, and thus an agreement by both nations to reduce their use: As some environmental analysts had hoped, President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China found room to maneuver on global warming …

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Millenium Development Goals Report 2011

We’re a little late on this, but early last month the United Nations issued its 2011 Millenium Development Goals report, which really should be at the top of the environmental community’s focus.  Usually, the MDGs are thought of simply as concerning poverty and development, but of course these issues deeply concern the environment.  More directly, although not …

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What If They Gave a Climate Summit and Nobody Came?

Last year about this time, everyone was excited about Copenhagen.  UCLA Law School even sent its own delegation.  President Obama was going to come.  It was the biggest thing in climate since Kyoto — maybe bigger, since now the US had an administration that believes in science. Now?  Not so much.  The coverage of Cancun …

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