Dire effects of ‘super greenhouse gases’ to environment underscored

By Mark Garcia

BACOLOD CITY - Environmentalists are urging Negros Occidental to take the lead in reducing energy demand through reduced use of ‘super greenhouse gases’ of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) to help mitigate the effects of global warming.

The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN weather agency's annual flagship report, tracks the continent of dangerous gasses in atmosphere in the post-industrial era (since 1750). (AFP photo) (AFP/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Minimizing the use of air conditioners and refrigerators are among the suggestions of Climate Reality Project Philippines Manager Rodne Galicha and Christian Aid’s Climate Advisor for Asia and the Middle East Jessica Dator-Bercilla.

They were at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City on Friday for a media briefing on the Kigali Ammendment to the Montreal Protocol in line with the Provincial Environment Month led by the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO).

Galicha said that HFCs have been used in the refrigeration systems globally to substitute Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that damages the ozone layer.

Recent studies, however, showed that these substitute chemicals have a high global warming potentials that are greater than carbon dioxide.

“When you compare it with carbon dioxide, it could only stay for about 15 years in the atmosphere but its global warming potential is thousands fold,” he explained.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are short-lived climate pollutants used as cooling agents for air- conditioning and refrigeration systems, fire retardants, and solvents.

HFCs emerged as substitutes for CFCs and HCFCs after these ozone-depleting substances (ODS) were phased out under the Montreal Protocol.

“If carbon dioxide has a GWP of 1, HFCs has more or less 15,000,” he said.