China and USA, the World’s largest greenhouse gas producers have announced that they will work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Greenhouse gases are pumped into the Earth’s atmosphere when non-renewable, fossil fuels are burned to produce energy. These gases are said to wrap the planet in a insulating blanket trapping heat, thus contributing to un-natural changes to the Earth’s climate.
John Kerry, US Secretary of State said in a statement made after a meeting with senior Chinese government officials in Beijing,
“… Together, the United States and China account for some 40 percent of the carbon pollution that is released into the atmosphere. It is imperative for us to work together in order to ensure that an ambitious international climate agreement… the UN Climate Summit in 2015 can be achieved…
as the science that has been pouring in over the course of the last year tells us every single day, and as the facts on the ground with droughts, fires, and disasters, and acidification of the ocean, and other things happening at an increased pace, it is more urgent that we join together to respond to this problem…”
It was also agreed that HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons ) would be tackled as a priority since they are believed to be some of the most potent climate polluters in the World. HFCs are gases produced as a result from leakage from and end of life disposal of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and aerosols. According to information published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency
“Although their [HFCs] “global warming potential” is high (100-3000 times that of carbon dioxide), the relatively small amounts involved mean that they play a small role compared to other greenhouse gases. HFCs can persist in the environment for up to hundreds of years because of their high stability.”
The initial aim of the US China partnership to reduce climate change is to work together to define meaningful targets in preparation for the Paris Climate Change Conference taking place in December 2015.