Greenhouse gas consumption to drop 80% to help climate change, propose government

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The government is aiming to phase down the use of powerful greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in the air-conditioning and refrigeration industries to help address climate change.

A delegation from GM-free Hastings met with the Environment Minister over reforms they say will destroy their export markets.

Nelson MP Nick Smith.

Source: 1 NEWS

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced the plan at the Bluegreens breakfast of the National Party's northern conference.

"These synthetic gases are up to 15,000 times more potent in their global warming effect than carbon dioxide and are projected to raise temperatures by 0.5 degrees celcius by the end of the century," he said.

The plan proposes to reduce HFC consumption by more than 80 percent over the next 20 years. In that time New Zealand will also reduce HFC imports which will help the country meet its international commitments ahead of schedule.

"It will enable us to ratify the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol early next year and it will also contribute towards New Zealand's Paris commitment of reducing our overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent come 2030," he said.

However, the phase down will have implications for those in the air-conditioning and refrigerating industries that'll need to convert to technology. Consumers with heat pumps will not need to upgrade them but future replacements and purchases will need to use the new technologies. 

Dr Smith, said "We have calibrated the phasedown timetable to give industry and consumers time to adapt while also ensuring New Zealand positively contributes to the global challenge of reducing greenhouse gases."

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