Bush pushes for plan to protect ozone layer

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The Independent Online

George Bush is this week to press for international action that will do more to combat global warming than the Kyoto Protocol.

His administration is putting forward more radical proposals than any other government to phase out emissions of gases that help cause climate change, at talks in Montreal.

The move does not change the President's opposition to strict international curbs on carbon dioxide emissions – even though his chief scientist, Professor John Marburger, last week said that unless they were reduced the Earth would become "unlivable".

The new US proposals are directed against chemicals brought in to replace the CFCs (or chlorofluorocarbons) that destroy the world's vital ozone layer, which are being phased out.

These new chemicals – HCFCs or (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), used in refrigeration – are much less damaging to the ozone than those they replaced, but warm up the planet up to 1,700 times more quickly than carbon dioxide.

Their use is to stop in 2030 in rich nations and 2040 in poor ones, but the US wants both deadlines brought forward by a decade.