Low-lying and other vulnerable countries calling for fast action on non-CO2 global warming pollutants

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Led by the tiny Pacific island of the Federated States of Micronesia, a growing group of low-lying islands and other vulnerable countries are calling for fast action on the approximately 50% of global warming that is caused by pollutants other than carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). Micronesia submitted a proposal last year to address these very climate warmers—black carbon, methane, and tropospheric ozone—under the UN climate treaty.

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US Climate Action Report to UN Projects 4% Growth in Total US GHG Emissions to 2020

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Micronesia, for one, is proposing the use of the Montreal Protocol treaty to phase out HFCs as the most important fast-action strategy for saving their island. This would buy the world an insurance policy equal to a delay of a decade worth of CO 2 emissions. From 2005 through 2020, total US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are projected to rise by 4% under a “with measures” scenario (but without a cap-and-trade program and other complementary policies), from 7,109 Tg CO 2 Eq.

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Cutting Non-CO2 Pollutants Can Delay Abrupt Climate Change; The Fast Action Climate Agenda

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Cutting HFCs, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and methane can buy us about 40 years before we approach the dangerous threshold of 2°C warming. —co-author The small island nations of Micronesia and Mauritius submitted a joint proposal in April to phase down production and consumption of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. Reducing tropospheric ozone by 50% could buy another decade’s worth of time for countries to start making substantial cuts in CO 2 , the authors said.