A five country coalition is petitioning the United Nations for an accelerated phase-out of a popular air conditioner refrigerant.
The coalition, which also includes Argentina, Brazil, Iceland, Mauritania and Norway, and is pitted against China, has informed the United Nations it wants to stop usage of the refrigerant, known as HCFC-22, following evidence that suggests it harms the Earth's ozone layer. Reports say the phase-out, suggested at a Hong Kong meeting, could even accelerate the healing of the ozone layer by up to five years.
China leads the world in manufacturing air conditioners using HCFC-22 and is reluctant to make the change. The United States also uses the refrigerant in most window air conditioners and air conditioning systems but is eager to change.
The coalition told the United Nations it wanted to negotiate an end to the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs, at an international conference in September in Montreal.