The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday finalized a rule that will slash the use of a potent climate-warming gas by 85% over the next 15 years. The gas is commonly for use in refrigerators and air conditioners.
The move aims to help halve greenhouse gas emissions this decade.
Phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 85% in a range of common appliances is the rule’s objective. Moreover, it carries out legislation passed with bipartisan support in Congress last year.
The move was also in compliance with the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol. It is a global treaty to reduce HFCs that the U.S. has not yet ratified.
National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy on Tuesday evening said it really sends a signal to the rest of the world that we are all in on climate change.
Furthermore, the rule comes with less than six weeks to go before the pivotal UN climate summit in Glasgow. President Joe Biden is likely to roll out several climate measures through executive actions. Other key climate proposals are dependent on Congress passing budget and infrastructure bills.
The Climate Advisor said she doesn’t know when Biden will send the amendment to the Senate for ratification.
Japan’s Suga to Attend Quad Summit in the U.S.
On Thursday, outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga left for the United States to attend the first in-person summit. That will be among the “Quad” nations of the U.S., Japan, Australia and India, to be held in Washington on Friday.
The prime minister plans to make a proposal to other leaders to hold a Quad summit on a regular basis. That is in order to strengthen the four countries’ cooperation in the face of China’s rise.
Before his departure, Suga told reporters that he plans to have four-way discussions on the key issues of coronavirus vaccines, new technologies and climate change. “We’ll explore ways,” he said, “to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Suga is set to leave office on Oct. 4, as Japan’s parliament elects a new prime minister.
He has put energy into promoting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, which his government inherited from Shinzo Abe’s administration, his predecessor.
Another Japanese Foreign Ministry official said, this time, the focus will be on whether the Quad framework can become established.
Lastly, the Quad nations virtually held their first summit talks in March this year. They launched cooperation in coronavirus vaccines, innovative technologies, and responses to climate change.