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Eklund A.G.,TRC Environmental Corporation | Altshuler P.C.,University of California at Berkeley | Chow J.C.,Desert Research Institute | Chow J.C.,CAS Institute of Earth Environment | And 9 more authors.
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2013

Supplemental Materials: Supplemental materials are available for this paper. Go to the publisher's online edition of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. © 2013 Copyright 2013 A&WMA.

Houfu Y.,Beijing Normal University | Xiaopu S.,Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development
Environmental Practice | Year: 2013

Serious environmental pollution incidents happen in China every year. However, only a few of them have been filed as environmental pollution criminal cases. We argue in this paper that the main reason is because the environmental administrative agencies often refuse to transfer the suspected environmental pollution criminal cases to the judicial authorities. Therefore, it's critical to better supervise the transfer of cases from the environmental administrative agencies, in order to ensure the implementation of the criminal laws and regulations, as well as to pressing criminal charges on the suspects instead of having them get away with administrative penalties. The supervision mechanisms include at least the interior supervision by other administrative agencies and the exterior supervision by the general public. An effectively functioning environmental criminal law system is very important for environmental protection and rule of law in China. © 2013 National Association of Environmental Professionals.

Young O.R.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Guttman D.,Johns Hopkins University | Guttman D.,Tsinghua University | Qi Y.,Tsinghua University | And 15 more authors.
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2015

Both China and the US have developed distinct governance processes to address environmental issues. The dominant processes of environmental governance in China take the form of (i) many laws but state planning is dominant and (ii) intermediate crisis scanning procedures and policy responses on an irregular or episodic basis outside the confines of the Five-Year Plans or other national plans. The parallel processes in the US involve (i) law-centered practices including the enactment of legislation, the promulgation of regulations, and the judgments of courts and (ii) federalism/multi-level governance featuring initiatives/innovations at national and sub-national levels of government and policy diffusion. These institutionalized governance processes are more deeply embedded in the political and social systems of the two countries than the range of factors commonly considered in discussions of policy instruments. Both sets of institutionalized governance processes produce successes in addressing environmental problems under some conditions and failures under others. But the determinants of success in the two systems are not the same, and there is no reason to expect the two systems to converge during the foreseeable future. The analysis of environmental problem solving in China and the US illustrates the power of the general idea of institutionalized governance processes as a basis for research on comparative politics in a wide range of settings. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Velders G.J.M.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Fahey D.W.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Daniel J.S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Andersen S.O.,Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development | McFarland M.,Chemours
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2015

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are manufactured for use as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances that are being phased out globally under Montreal Protocol regulations. While HFCs do not deplete ozone, many are potent greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Here, new global scenarios show that baseline emissions of HFCs could reach 4.0-5.3 GtCO2-eq yr-1 in 2050. The new baseline (or business-as-usual) scenarios are formulated for 10 HFC compounds, 11 geographic regions, and 13 use categories. The scenarios rely on detailed data reported by countries to the United Nations; projections of gross domestic product and population; and recent observations of HFC atmospheric abundances. In the baseline scenarios, by 2050 China (31%), India and the rest of Asia (23%), the Middle East and northern Africa (11%), and the USA (10%) are the principal source regions for global HFC emissions; and refrigeration (40-58%) and stationary air conditioning (21-40%) are the major use sectors. The corresponding radiative forcing could reach 0.22-0.25 W m-2 in 2050, which would be 12-24% of the increase from business-as-usual CO2 emissions from 2015 to 2050. National regulations to limit HFC use have already been adopted in the European Union, Japan and USA, and proposals have been submitted to amend the Montreal Protocol to substantially reduce growth in HFC use. Calculated baseline emissions are reduced by 90% in 2050 by implementing the North America Montreal Protocol amendment proposal. Global adoption of technologies required to meet national regulations would be sufficient to reduce 2050 baseline HFC consumption by more than 50% of that achieved with the North America proposal for most developed and developing countries. © 2015 The Authors.

Andersen S.O.,Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development | Halberstadt M.L.,Michigan Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Foundation | Borgford-Parnell N.,Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2013

In 1974, Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland warned that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) could destroy the stratospheric ozone layer that protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. In the decade after, scientists documented the buildup and long lifetime of CFCs in the atmosphere; found the proof that CFCs chemically decomposed in the stratosphere and catalyzed the depletion of ozone; quantified the adverse effects; and motivated the public and policymakers to take action. In 1987, 24 nations plus the European Community signed the Montreal Protocol. Today, 25 years after the Montreal Protocol was agreed, every United Nations state is a party (universal ratification of 196 governments); all parties are in compliance with the stringent controls; 98% of almost 100 ozone-depleting chemicals have been phased out worldwide; and the stratospheric ozone layer is on its way to recovery by 2065. A growing coalition of nations supports using the Montreal Protocol to phase down hydrofluorocarbons, which are ozone safe but potent greenhouse gases. Without rigorous science and international consensus, emissions of CFCs and related ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) could have destroyed up to two-thirds of the ozone layer by 2065, increasing the risk of causing millions of cancer cases and the potential loss of half of global agricultural production. Furthermore, because most ODSs are also greenhouse gases, CFCs and related ODSs could have had the effect of the equivalent of 24-76 gigatons per year of carbon dioxide. This critical review describes the history of the science of stratospheric ozone depletion, summarizes the evolution of control measures and compliance under the Montreal Protocol and national legislation, presents a review of six separate transformations over the last 100 years in refrigeration and air conditioning (A/C) technology, and illustrates government-industry cooperation in continually improving the environmental performance of motor vehicle A/C. The comforts and conveniences of modern life are largely taken for granted. When purchasing a product, consumers are usually not concerned with how or why it works, often assuming the product is safe to use and safe for the environment. This critical review addresses why such general public acceptance and complacency is not always the best policy. The paper explains how early warnings given by vigilant scientists highlighted the dangers of ODS and calls for action and boycotts by concerned citizens 35 years ago and regulatory actions taken by governments worldwide 25 years ago successfully phased out ODSs and avoided global catastrophe. It also highlights new opportunities for the Montreal Protocol to further protect against climate change. The implication is that scientific vigilance, public policy, and citizen action have protected and can protect Earth for future generations. Supplemental Materials: Supplemental materials are available for this paper. Go to the publisher's online edition of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. © 2013 Copyright 2013 A&WMA.

News Article | December 21, 2016
Site: www.theguardian.com

World leaders should redouble efforts to cut soot emissions because it is the cheapest and fastest way to combat climate change, climate scientists and advocates have told the Guardian. Deposits of soot – unburned carbon particles – have stained parts of the Arctic black, changing the ice from a reflector of sunlight to an absorber of heat, and accelerating the melting of ice and snow, which itself is starting to alter global weather patterns. Some scientists believe reducing the concentration of soot particles and other so-called “short-lived climate pollutants” entering the atmosphere may be easier in the short term than bringing down carbon dioxide emissions. Such a “quick win” would be important to provide breathing space while world populations reduce their use of fossil fuels, scientists say. Paul Bledsoe, a former White House adviser who has worked on climate science issues for a decade, said: “Limiting short-lived climate pollutants is the cheapest, fastest way to prevent ice melt globally, particularly in the Arctic.” Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said: “You can’t solve a fast-moving problem like Arctic warming without fast-moving solutions. Cutting the short lived-climate pollutants is the fastest solution we’ve got. “Cutting these super climate pollutants can cut Arctic warming by two-thirds in the near term.” The vast expanse of ice and snow covering the Arctic may look startlingly white from a distance, but on closer examination the glaciers and snow cover are patched by dark streaks of inky black and dusty grey and brown. Some are small and self-contained; others are miles long. All are the mark of man. Hailong Wang, an atmospheric scientist at the US Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said that both observational and modelling evidence showed that soot was warming the Arctic. “The warming effect could be through the direct heating to the air, snow and sea ice by absorbing sunlight, and then accelerating the melting of snow and sea ice,” Wang said. “When the melting starts, there are positive feedback processes that can lead to even faster melting.” Work by Piers Forster, a professor of physical climate change at the University of Leeds, and Maria Sands, a researcher at Norway’s Cicero institute, and their colleagues, has established that reducing soot emissions could lower Arctic temperatures by 0.2C within a few decades – a valuable contribution, considering that the commitment made in the Paris agreement was to hold temperature rises to no more than 1.5C or 2C. The Arctic bears what could be considered more than its fair share of the world’s pollution. Industry and tourism in the region are tiny, though mining and oil companies continue to eye-up potential sites as the permafrost retreats. The dirt that scars the Arctic landscape is not local: rather, ocean and air currents carry substances – soot, heavy metals, plastic particles, and more – fromacross the globe to deposit them in this pristine environment. Chemical pollution has even been found to cause brain damage in polar bears. Soot in the atmosphere has been calculated to be capable of causing warming of about 0.5C in the Arctic, from heating of the atmosphere and melting of snow. This amounts to about a quarter of the observed warming since pre-industrial times. However, the picture is more complicated than these raw figures might suggest. Unburned carbon particles and gases, such as sulphur dioxide, which often accompany soot production, can have an aerosol cooling effect, because in the atmosphere they can deflect heat from the sun back into space. This process, sometimes called global dimming, makes it hard to estimate the final effects of the pollution. While mercury, PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) and other pollutants persist for decades, soot is a less permanent problem. “Unlike greenhouse gases, soot particles are relatively short-lived in the atmosphere. The average lifetime is around a week or two,” says Wang. “New snowfall [can also] cover them [the soot particles] pretty quickly.” And this, according to Zaelke, is what makes soot so important. “Speed is the key metric here, that we haven’t paid enough attention to [in discussions over climate change],” he said. “We have been looking at slow-moving solutions [such as reducing greenhouse gases] and we need to catch up. We need to do something about near-term warming if we are going to stabilise the climate.” Greenhouse gases are produced by a wide range of human industries: generating electricity, driving, flying, raising cattle, making cement, agricultural fertilisers, and many more. Soot comes from a smaller subset of these activities. Coal-fired power stations are a leading source, as are dirty vehicle engines, and industrial chimneys, but even in developing countries where people have little access to electricity and powered transport, soot is produced by indoor fires used for cooking and heating. Global warming is not the only impact. Soot is behind human health problems from Beijing to Burundi, as the particles are breathed into lungs where they remain, causing and exacerbating respiratory diseases. Smoky fuels kill more than 4 million people a year, according to the World Health Organisation – a disproportionate number of them women and children, from dirty cooking fires. Dealing with soot, therefore, is not only a win for the climate, but for people’s health. Forster and Sand have identified three measures as potentially the most effective: reducing the domestic burning of wood in Asia, cutting the flaring of gas in Russia, and reducing emissions from diesel vehicles globally. The technology to do all of these is available. Gas flaring is not only unnecessary but inefficient, as captured waste gases can be used for fuel. Scrubbers can also be fitted to the chimneys of fossil fuel power stations. Car engines can be fitted with filters, as they are in many developed countries, to remove the dirt from exhausts. Cooking fires are individually harder to reach, but in many areas of the world simple solar cookers could be used that would not only reduce deaths from pollution but ease the lives of women and girls for whom the drudgery of finding fuel each day can be physically demanding, and put a brake on education and development. History shows that while these measures can involve some upfront costs, these are quickly repaid in quality of life. Londoners, for example, took pea-soupers as a fact of life before clean air legislation was passed following the deadly smogs of the early 1950s. With the right regulation and political will, soot could be made a historical curiosity across the globe. Forster said: “The measures [to reduce soot] would also help by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. They would also kick in faster – within 10 years of the emissions reduction – whereas CO2 emissions reductions just slow the rate of warming. You need negative [CO2] emissions for a CO2 cooling effect.” Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said: “With scientists recognising that soot ranks second only behind carbon dioxide in terms of global warming, it’s crucial that this pollution is cut to help avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Tackling soot would be a win-win, because it will bring enormous health benefits by cutting air pollution too. Governments must act now, and act fast.” These actions will only be effective as part of a broader push to tackle carbon emissions. Although dealing with soot could be an important way of heading off one of the threats to the Arctic and the world, it cannot be a substitute for acting on warming gases more widely. “Greenhouse gases are still the major player in causing the overall melting of the Arctic,” said Wang. Stopping soot pollution could give us a vital breathing space, but an effective end to global warming – and Arctic melting – will require much more.

News Article | December 5, 2015
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

As world leaders grapple with how to cut global emissions of carbon dioxide, diplomats in Paris are recording progress in combating other pollutants that scientists believe are contributing powerfully to rising temperatures. A coalition of governments and private businesses has agreed to take up a series of initiatives to limit so-called “short-lived climate pollutants,” ranging from industrial chemicals used in refrigerators to soot particles given off by diesel engines. While emissions of these pollutants are small compared to carbon dioxide, some are vastly more powerful, pound for pound, in trapping heat in the Earth’s lower atmosphere. Participants in the efforts say controlling these pollutants could offer a way to slow global warming in the coming decades while giving scientists and policymakers more time to tackle the bigger challenge of curbing carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. “This will produce the biggest single piece of climate mitigation in the near term and avoid a half degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century,” Durwood Zaelke, founder of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development and an expert in international environmental law, told a news conference Friday at the Paris climate talks. In fighting climate change, “speed matters profoundly,” he said. Short-lived climate pollutants are so named because they dissipate relatively quickly in the environment — in years or decades, compared to hundreds or thousands of years for carbon dioxide. They include methane, a naturally occurring gas that is also given off in large quantities by oil and gas operations, farms and landfills; common industrial coolants called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs; and “black carbon,” which consists mostly of soot particles. When black carbon settles on snow and ice it darkens the surface, drawing more heat from the sun and causing faster melting. On Friday, officials in Paris announced plans to broaden the Green Freight Action Plan, a coalition of 20 countries and several major corporations, including Volvo and Hewlett Packard, to reduce diesel soot from the transportation sector, especially heavy trucks and cargo ships. Separately, a business group called the Global Food Cold Chain Council announced new steps to cut back on the use of HFCs in commercial and industrial refrigeration. Dozens of U.S. companies are already participating in voluntary measures to speed up the shift from HFCs to alternative chemicals that are safer for the environment. Last month, more than 190 nations agreed in principle to scale back global production of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, the 1989 accord that banned production of chemicals that damage the Earth’s ozone layer. Details are to be finalized at an international conference in Dubai next year. “This collaboration is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when all parties work together in good faith to achieve a common goal,”  said Stephen Yurek, president of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, the U.S. trade association representing refrigerant producers and air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment manufacturers. Multiple efforts already are underway to limit methane, which currently accounts for about 25 percent of the greenhouse-gas problem, experts say. Environmental and industry groups have launched initiatives to cut down on leaks of methane gas from oil and gas fields, the single biggest source of man-made emissions. Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said reducing such leaks offers a fast way to gain ground in the fight against climate change. “The higher temperatures get in the short run, the more likely it is that we are going to pass a trigger point that leads to runaway warming,” Krupp said. Cutting methane leaks “gives us an opportunity to minimize that risk,” he said.

News Article | October 13, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

Delegates attend the official opening of the 28th meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali on October 13, 2016 (AFP Photo/Cyril Ndegeya) Kigali (AFP) - Rwanda's President Paul Kagame urged world leaders to rid the world of potent greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, as he opened a high-level meeting in Kigali Thursday. Envoys from nearly 200 nations are in the Rwandan capital to thrash out an agreement to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which were introduced in the 1990s to save the ozone layer -- but turned out to be catastrophic for global warming. Halting the use of HFCs -- also found in aerosols and foam insulation -- is crucial to meeting the goals to curb the rise of global temperatures agreed in a historic accord drafted in Paris last year. "We should not allow ourselves to be satisfied with making a little bit of good progress when it is within our power to actually solve the problem," Kagame told the meeting, attended by representatives of 197 countries. US Secretary of State John Kerry is among the 40 ministers expected. Kagame, whose small east African nation has put the environment at the heart of its development strategy, said that eradicating HFCs "will make our world safer and more prosperous". Maxime Beaugrand of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development was positive that there would be an agreement Friday to phase out HFCs. "Negotiations are moving in the right direction. I think we can expect an amendment tomorrow in Kigali and I think it will be sufficiently ambitious," she told AFP. HFCs predecessors, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), were discontinued under the ozone-protecting Montreal Protocol when scientists realised the compounds were responsible for the growing hole in the ozone layer, which protects Earth from the Sun's dangerous ultraviolet rays. However it emerged that HFCs -- while safe for the now-healing ozone -- are thousands of times worse for trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. "(HFCs) are increasing at a rate of 10-15 percent a year," Greenpeace global strategist Paula Carbajal told AFP. "That makes them the fastest-growing greenhouse gas." According to a study by the Berkeley National Laboratory, residential air conditioning is the cause of the largest growth in HFCs -- and the world is likely to have another 700 million air conditioners by 2030. "The world room air conditioner market is growing fast with increasing urbanisation, electrification, rising incomes and falling air conditioner prices in many developing economies." Beaugrand said alternatives to HFCs existed in all refrigeration sectors. These alternatives "either have less of a warming potential than HFCs or they are natural like ammonia". Other alternatives are water and gases called hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) which are a form of HFCs, however some, like Greenpeace, believe these are still too dangerous. Carbajal said HFCs could add as much as 0.1 degrees celsius (0.18 Fahrenheit) to average global temperatures by mid-century, and 0.5 degrees celsius (0.9 F) by 2100. The Paris climate agreement aims to keep global warming below two degrees celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels, and continued use of HFCs could prove a serious stumbling block to attaining the goal. "If HFC growth is not stopped, it becomes virtually impossible to meet the Paris goals," said David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group. HFCs -- though they are greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide -- are not dealt with under the Paris Agreement but under the Montreal Protocol, adopted in 1987. Negotiators are weighing various proposals for amending the protocol to freeze HFC production and use, with possible dates for such moves ranging from almost immediately to as late as 2031. India -- which is a major HFC producer along with China -- backs the later date, while countries in very hot parts of the world where HFC-using air conditioners are in high demand, want temporary exemptions. Last month, a group of developed countries and companies offered $80 million (72 million euros) to help developing countries make the switch away from HFCs. "No one, frankly, will forgive you nor me if we cannot find a compromise at this conference because this is one of the cheapest, one of the easiest, one of the lowest hanging fruits in the entire household of climate mitigation," Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment Programme, told delegates.

Montzka S.A.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Mcfarland M.,DuPont Company | Andersen S.O.,Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development | Miller B.R.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Physical Chemistry A | Year: 2015

Global-scale atmospheric measurements are used to investigate the effectiveness of recent adjustments to production and consumption controls on hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) and to assess recent projections of large increases in hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) production and emission. The results show that aggregate global HCFC emissions did not increase appreciably during 2007-2012 and suggest that the 2007 Adjustments to the Montreal Protocol played a role in limiting HCFC emissions well in advance of the 2013 cap on global production. HCFC emissions varied between 27 and 29 kt CFC-11-equivalent (eq)/y or 0.76 and 0.79 GtCO2-eq/y during this period. Despite slower than projected increases in aggregate HCFC emissions since 2007, total emissions of HFCs used as substitutes for HCFCs and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have not increased more rapidly than rates projected [Velders, G. J. M.; Fahey, D. W.; Daniel, J. S.; McFarland, M.; Andersen, S. O. The Large Contribution of Projected HFC Emissions to Future Climate Forcing. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2009, 106, 10949-10954] for 2007-2012. HFC global emission magnitudes related to this substitution totaled 0.51 (-0.03, +0.04) GtCO2-eq/y in 2012, a magnitude about two times larger than emissions reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for these HFCs. Assuming accurate reporting to the UNFCCC, the results imply that developing countries (non-Annex I Parties) not reporting to the UNFCCC now account for nearly 50% of global HFC emissions used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). Global HFC emissions (as CO2-eq) from ODS substitution can be attributed approximately equally to mobile air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, and the sum of all other applications. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Andersen S.O.,Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences | Year: 2015

Ozone protection was the result of professional confidence and sacrifice; brilliant interdisciplinary science and the good fortune of an ozone hole with no explanation other than manufactured fluorocarbons; and industry and government leadership inspired by the realization that life on earth was in jeopardy. In response to the 1974 warning by Dr. Mario Molina and Dr. F. Sherwood Rowland that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were destroying the stratospheric ozone layer, almost 100 ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) have been phased out under the auspices of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol). This paper describes how the United Nations, national governments, citizens, and companies came together pragmatically for the public good. It describes seminal events where individuals and organizational leaders set the stage, came to agreement, and implemented the technology that protects stratospheric ozone and climate. These individuals, who became “Ozone Champions,” often acted alone and with great courage when they were sideways and crossways to the organizations where they were employed. This paper also describes how practical lessons from the successful Montreal Protocol can guide our global society and how stakeholders can positively influence each other to achieve comprehensive atmospheric protection—including halting climate change. The final section considers how the approaches of the Montreal Protocol can dismiss skepticism and embrace technical optimism in implementing cleaner coal and carbon sequestration, even as society aggressively pursues low-carbon renewable energy, energy efficiency, and a transition to sustainable lifestyles. © 2015, AESS.

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