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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1991

NEWS...
NEWS NOTES


Item #d91feb71

1997 CFC Phaseout: The European Community will probably phase out chlorofluorocarbons by 1997 as a result of a vote by the EC Council of Environmental Ministers in December. This accelerates by three years the revised Montreal Protocol target date established last June. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 3-4, Jan. 16, 1991.)


Item #d91feb72

CFC Substitute Reports: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released two interim studies on the human health and environmental effects of major substitutes for CFCs and halons. One covers hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) as substitutes for CFCs; the other covers terpenes and aqueous cleaners as substitutes for CFC-113 and methyl chloroform. Based on studies still underway, EPA concluded that these substitutes can be safely used with appropriate technological changes and exposure control practices. Copies are available from the TSCA Assistance Info. Serv., Off. Toxic Substances (TS-799), U.S. EPA, Washington D.C. 20460 (202-554-1404).


Item #d91feb73

Canada's Green Plan, released in December 1990, commits an additional Can$3 billion to environmental protection over the next five years and contains over 100 initiatives. However, environmental proponents are criticizing its lack of detail, specific timetables and targets. With respect to global warming, the plan proposed studies of the technical feasibility and economic implications of meeting the requirement of the 1988 Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere for a 20-percent cut in CO2 emissions by the year 2005. A discussion paper on carbon taxes is promised for release this spring. A recent poll determined that a majority of the Canadian public is not impressed by the plan. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 533-534, Dec. 19, 1990; p. 31, Dec. 16.)


Item #d91feb74

"Global Hum Threatens to `Deafen' Whales," I. Anderson, New Scientist, p. 19, Jan. 19, 1991. Environmentalists are at odds with oceanographers over the international ocean sound propagation experiment scheduled to start this month. They fear that the low frequency sound waves to be generated under water in the Southern Hemisphere could interfere with the acoustic communication employed by whales and other marine mammals. The experiment will determine if detection of sound waves at stations around the world will provide a means of measuring ocean temperature accurately enough to observe any changes related to global warming.


Item #d91feb75

"Action Expected in 1991 to Set Global Environmental Agenda for 21st Century," Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 23-28, Jan. 16, 1991. A feature article covering expected developments in 17 countries, including those related to carbon dioxide taxes, deforestation, ozone depletion and energy policy.


Item #d91feb76

"Norway Imposes Carbon Dioxide Tax on Fuel Burned on North Sea Oil Platforms," ibid., p. 6. The Environmental Ministry said the new tax (five cents per liter of diesel fuel) would enable Norway to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by the year 2000. Norway is the third European nation (after Holland and Sweden) to approve carbon taxes.


Item #d91feb77

"Ministries to Impose Carbon Dioxide Tax to Raise Funds for Climate Change Programs, " ibid., p. 22. To be introduced in April 1992 as part of a general tax reform, this tax will contribute to Japan's goal of freezing CO2 emissions at 1990 levels through the year 2000.


Item #d91feb78

"California Cuts Its Electric Bill," N. Lenssen, World Watch, pp. 5-6, Jan.-Feb. 1991 (Worldwatch Inst., 1776 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036; 202-452-1999). The average California resident used less electricity in 1988 than 1978, while the average electric consumption in the nation rose 11 percent. The drop is a result of a series of innovative changes in state energy policy in the mid- and late-1970s.


Item #d91feb79

"19th-Century Engine Refrigerates without CFCs," D. Clery, New Scientist, p. 28, Sep. 1, 1990. An Ohio firm has developed an efficient refrigeration mechanism that uses helium rather than CFCs as a working fluid. It is based on the Sterling heat pump cycle invented in 1816.

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