HFC emissions rapidly rising
- Air ,
- Pollution & Waste Management
The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has warned that levels of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are rapidly increasing in the atmosphere
In a new report, the UN body says that emissions of HFCs (excluding HFC-23) are growing at a rate of 8% per year as they are adopted as ozone-friendly alternatives to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
It also warns that by 2050, without action, they could rise so high that they almost cancel out the tremendous climate benefits won earlier by the phase-out of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances.
The UNEP report estimates that annual emissions of FCs will rise from about 3.5Gt to 8.8Gt of CO2 equivalent by the middle of the century, which is comparable with the drop in annual emissions of ozone-depleting substances between 1988 and 2010. UNEP wants alternatives to be urgently adopted to bring down the projected growth of HFCs.
The range of alternatives to HFCs includes designing buildings that avoid the need for air conditioning and using alternative substances.
The Environment Agency has successfully prosecuted Southern Water for thousands of illegal raw sewage discharges that polluted rivers and coastal waters in Kent, resulting in a record £90m fine.
In Elliott-Smith v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the claimant applied for judicial review of the legality of the defendants’ joint decision to create the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) as a substitute for UK participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.
Global greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are projected to increase by 4% over the next 10 years, despite the carbon intensity of production declining. That is according to a new report from the UN food agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which forecasts that 80% of the increase will come from livestock.
Half of consumers worldwide now consider the sustainability of food and drink itself, not just its packaging, when buying, a survey of 14,000 shoppers across 18 countries has discovered. This suggests that their understanding of sustainability is evolving to include wellbeing and nutrition, with sustainable packaging now considered standard.
Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.
New jobs that help drive the UK towards net-zero emissions are set to offer salaries that are almost one-third higher than those in carbon-intensive industries, research suggests.