What's the best way to slow climate change? Governments have
mostly wasted the last twenty years, conspicuously failing to
effectively reduce the greenhouse gases in the Kyoto Protocol basket
( CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons,
perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride). Maybe we can do better
on soot – also known as particulate air
pollution, which is easier and cheaper to control.
Another attribute of soot that has attracted attention is its
short lifecycle and the corresponding opportunity to see much
faster reductions in climate forcing following a reduction in soot
emissions (as compared to reductions in the long-lived Kyoto basket
gases). Soot is removed from the atmosphere by wet removal and
direct deposition in as little as one week . This is in contrast to
the gases in the Kyoto basket which have a lifetime of at least 2
years and carbon dioxide, which has a lifecycle of 100 years or
Earlier this month, Canada joined the Global Alliance
for Clean Cookstoves. The aim of the initiative is to provide
efficient cookstoves to people who are reliant on biomass stoves
and open fires for cooking and heating. They hope to support
the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in 100 million
households by 2020.
What's missing from this announcement about soot reduction
is what Canada will be doing at home. As illustrated in the
charming video produced for Ecojustice's Stop Soot Campaign, soot is the second leading
cause of arctic warming and tighter standards on diesel fuel would
help to reduce this impact.
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Ontario's Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change continues to roll out its Climate Change Action Plan with its proposed GHG guide for projects that are subject to the province's Environmental Assessment Act.
The Imperial Oil refinery pled guilty to one offence for discharging a contaminant, coker stabilizer, thermocracked gas, into the natural environment causing an adverse effect and was fined $650,000...
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