Markey: Clean air initiative good step

Feb. 17, 2012 at 7:31 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- With global support, there's a chance to make gains in the effort to curb global warming through a multilateral clean air initiative, a U.S. lawmaker said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced an initiative that aims to reduce levels of short-lived climate pollutants like methane, black carbon, or soot, and hydrofluorocarbons.

U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said cutting short-lived pollutants would have long-term benefits.

"If the world signs on to this ambitious agreement, it has the potential to get us one-fourth of the way toward keeping warming below the 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit pledge made by countries worldwide in the fight against climate change," he said in a statement.

Environmental groups welcomed the measure but said it fell short by excluding emissions like carbon dioxide. Clinton acknowledged the measure didn't provide a panacea to the climate issue.

"There is no way to effectively address climate change without reducing carbon dioxide, the most dangerous, prevalent and persistent greenhouse gas," she said in a statement.

Pollutants included in the measure are thought to contribute to climate change.

The United States worked with Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico and Sweden on the initiative.

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