February 28, 2007
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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1991
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.)
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).
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.)
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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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