In an effort to mitigate the consequences of climate change, European climate policy has been focused on the long-term reduction of CO2 emissions. Scientific data prove that our policy is severely lacking in a comprehensive approach to the reduction of non-CO2 climate-relevant anthropogenic emissions, namely HFCs, black carbon and pollutant gases that lead to the formation of tropospheric (lower atmosphere) ozone. The same data indicate that it is important to complement our efforts against climate change by firmly and timely addressing the non-CO2 pollutants while taking advantage of existing technologies and institutions (such as the Montreal Protocol, bilateral agreements, etc.). This can be done for some HFCs at a public price as low as 5 to 10 cents per tonne, whereas now the carbon price is over EUR 13 per tonne. Relevant policy options include:
(a) Phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs with global warming potential, to accelerate the phase-out of HCFCs and recover and destroy stratospheric ozone-depleting GHGs in discarded products and equipment;
(b) Reduction of black carbon emissions, giving priority to emissions that affect regions of snow and ice, including the Arctic, Greenland and the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers;
(c) Reduction of pollutant gases that lead to the formation of tropospheric ozone, a significant GHG.
What is the Commission’s position on the abovementioned strategy? Does the Commission intend to complement its policy on climate change mitigation accordingly? Does the Commission intend to present a legislative proposal in regard to non-CO2 climate-relevant anthropogenic emissions? Does the Commission intend to pursue a cost-analysis of the reduction of emissions of these non-CO2 climate-relevant anthropogenic emissions?
Is the Commission ready to promote an immediate phase-down at international level of the production and consumption of HFCs through the Montreal Protocol, rather than through the Kyoto Protocol’s flexible mechanisms, to serve better the objectives of climate change mitigation?