WASHINGTON, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Environmental Investigation Agency: Late last week, Representative Scott Peters (CA-52) introduced the Super Pollutant Emissions Reduction Act of 2013 (the "SUPER Act") as a first step to stopping emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, to slow down the rate of climate change.
Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), including methane, black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and tropospheric ozone, are responsible for 40-45% of the man-made forcing causing climate change. SLCPs only stay in the atmosphere for days, weeks or a few years while the primary global warming pollutant, carbon dioxide (CO2) stays in the atmosphere for centuries. Therefore, aggressive action to control both short-lived climate pollutants and CO2 is essential to slow climate change.
Last week, for the first time in human history, concentrations of CO2 hit 400 parts per million in our planet's atmosphere. With nearly half of the current global warming attributed to short-lived climate pollutants, the progression of climate change is even more serious than this level of CO2 would indicate. The U.S. must act now to control these pollutants. In addition to slowing down climate change, controlling short-lived climate pollutants has the added benefit of reducing their more direct and immediate impacts on air pollution, crop loss and public health.
Congress must act to swiftly pass the SUPER Act. However, this Act should also be the catalyst for the Council on Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency and all other Agencies of the Government to take action now to halt emissions of these devastating pollutants under existing laws and authority.
A global phase-down of just one of these short-lived climate pollutants, HFCs, will prevent emission of approximately 100 billion tones of CO2 equivalents by 2050. With concerted effort, at least 80% of HFCs can be phased-out by 2030 and slow global warming, sea level rise and prevent the world from reaching irreversible climatic "tipping points."
"The U.S. is the largest user of HFCs in the world, so taking the smart and easy actions necessary to reduce these gases will help move the rest of the world to phasing them out as well," said Mark W. Roberts, International Policy Advisor for EIA. "In addition to passage of the SUPER Act, all agencies of the US Government must issue regulations and take all other available actions under existing laws and authority to reduce the allowable emissions of all short-lived climate pollutants."
The U.S. must immediately and aggressively reduce the emissions of these short-lived climate pollutants. The SUPER act is a good first step, and Congress must pass it quickly to start mitigating the devastating effects of climate change.
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SOURCE Environmental Investigation Agency