MIA Opens Peace, Reconciliation Forum

first_imgThe Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) in partnership with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) has opened a three-day peacebuilding and reconciliation forum aimed at addressing and uniting Liberians after several years of civil crisis.Speaking at the three-day forum on Wednesday April 23, the Executive Director for peacebuilding at the MIA, Mr. Wilfred N. Gray Johnson, explained that the government, in 2013, developed a national reconciliation roadmap for use in the country’s reconciliatory process.According to the Executive Director, the roadmap clearly defined the reconciliation process in the Liberian context so it could be used to solve past disputes and bring together the people of Liberia through programs and other means necessary on the way forward.He said peace building and the reconciliation process would focus on the overcoming of social, political and religious divisions; and mending and transforming of relationships into what is needed for the people of Liberia.“The process will also focus on the healing of physical and psychological wounds from the civil war. If that is done, the people can be able to come together and live without bringing the past into the present,” he said. Mr. Gray Johnson further stressed that the roadmap is intended to promote and focus on reconciliation by using the palava hut and reparations programs.According to the Executive Director, the forum’s outcome would contribute to the increase of collective knowledge on the national reconciliation roadmap and share knowledge from different international experiences on related processes.“We are here to gather information about the challenges relating to the implementation of the national reconciliation roadmap, and to analyze the degree to which there is coherence and coordination among these key actors involved in it.”He said the forum also focused on creating a space for actors to shares experiences and challenges relating to the design and implementation of the action work plan and to identify inter-linkages between different actors working within the same or similar fields.The three-day forum featured government institutions and partners including the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs; the Governance Commission; the Independent National Human Rights Commission among other partners.  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Tyler Removal on Ice

first_imgThe quest by some members of the House of Representatives to remove Speaker Alex J. Tyler as chief administrator of the Lower House seems fruitless, as the ringleaders are said to be after “lucrative positions at the moment.”The rules of the House give the Speaker the power to appoint committee members and chairpersons respectively with a mandate to reshuffle them after three years.Since the news broke of an imminent reshuffle during the 4th Session of the 53rd National Legislature, there have been several political maneuvers by individual Representatives to join the clique of those in lucrative positions or struggle to retain their respective committee jobs.At the closing stages of the 3rd Session last year, the clique inclusive of Representatives Edwin M. Snowe, Emmanuel Nuquay and Bill Twehway threatened Speaker Tyler with removal after sensing that they might be replaced.That threat was short lived, thereby reenergizing Speaker Tyler to proceed with his planned reshuffle.Snowe and Nuquay head the Committees on Rules, Order and Administration and Ways, Means and Finance, respectively, the two positions considered “highly lucrative.”Snowe was accused of “stealing” over US$40,000 intended to procure a vehicle for Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue, an allegation that led to his being sidelined during the Nationwide Oil Consultation, leaving Representative Barchue in charge of managing US$900,000 for the consultation.Rep. Snowe, a Montserrado County lawmaker, is also aggrieved because Speaker Tyler appointed Deputy Speaker Barchue to manage US$5 million that was placed in the National Budget for district development purposes under the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) projects in the counties.As for Margibi County Representative Nuquay, he was accused of linking with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to divert US$2 million to his personal projects in his district.  Both Snowe and Nuquay have remained tightlipped about the allegations against them.After realizing their failure in the first quest, the clique again rearmed and submitted a communication to the secretariat of the House calling for Speaker Tyler to recuse himself from presiding until his corruption allegation with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) is addressed.The letter to the Secretariat was not placed on yesterday’s agenda, forcing the ringleaders to disrupt the holding of session.According to their rules, the Chief Clerk is under obligation to prepare the agenda of the House with the approval of the Speaker.In keeping with that order, Speaker Tyler seized the bill noting; “Leadership does not see it fit to place the item on the agenda.”That action caused serious contention among lawmakers both for and against, stoking a heated debate that lasted for hours.The first Session in the New Year was called off and a called immediately following the disorder.According to reports, the number wanting to unseat the Speaker is far less than what is required, and sources believe that the likes of Representatives Henry Farnhbulleh, Edward Karfiah and Snowe among others are seeking Tyler’s removal for “personal reasons not for the House’s interest.”Interestingly, only 12 representatives are keen on removing the Speaker and signatories to the communication as presented to the Chief Clerk are all non-influential and perhaps afraid to fully support the move to unseat Tyler.For instance Representatives Robertson N. Siaway, Mary Karwor and Roland Opee Cooper of Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties respectively, could not defend their signatures when debate opened yesterday. Asked why she affixed her signature to the document but declined to participate in the debate, Madam Karwor could not say a word about her action. “I don’t know what’s going here, but I know that there are procedures for things like this,” she said dodging the question.Contacted for comment, the Speaker’s office considered yesterday’s drama as an attempt to create tension for political reasons. “They don’t have the numbers to proceed with their action, but they just want to make noise,” the Bomi County Representative’s spokesperson said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Big Bam Ski Hill has great start to season

first_imgTAYLOR, B.C. – The Big Bam Ski Hill was up and running last weekend for the first time this season.Big Bam Ski Hill Secretary, Tawnia Salsbury, says the first weekend of operations went well despite some equipment issues.“It went great despite the lift issues. We had a lot of positive feedback and a ton of local people come out to spend time on the hill.”- Advertisement -Salsbury says the Ski Hill will be open again this weekend with the tow line now in operation.“We are open 10-6 both Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend, and the tow is up and running now.”The Big Bam Ski Hill is a volunteer-driven, non-profit group of individuals who see the value in having a nearby winter recreational site.Advertisement For more information, you can visit Big Bam’s website.last_img read more

Inconnu Swim Club attends JP Fiset Invitational in Edmonton

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Inconnu Swim Club sent 9 swimmers to compete in the 2019 Vivos JP Fiset Invitational. The meet hosted almost 300 swimmers who all competed at the Kinsmen centre in the heart of Edmonton over the four day event. The weekend was a great success for our athletes, Viggo Pedersen (13), Grayson Louie (13), Frankie Woods (12), Julien Kemp (13), Ethan Scoullar (13), Owen Lang (14), Alex McDonald (14), Cameron Louie (15), and Eric Louie (17), who all swam 7 events each.  “The qualifying times get faster as you get older and bigger,” Coach Norah Vogan said. “BC changes the times every year as well, so even if you think you’ve qualified for the next year, sometimes it’s not the case.” Grayson Louie, Frankie Woods, and Alex McDonald all achieved 100% best times. – Advertisement -Grayson is our most recent Age Group Provincial qualifier. Grayson qualified in 50 m, 100 m, 200 m, and 400 m freestyle, and 200 Individual Medley.Julien Kemp attended Age Group Provincials last year as a 12-year-old and re-qualified again as a 13-year-old.center_img Inconnu didn’t just go home with qualifying times. Advertisement Eric Louie took home two medals as well as a club record in the 50 butterfly. Eric set his club record in the 50 butterfly in finals on Friday night in a 25.50.Cameron Louie secured a silver medal in the 50 freestyle Sunday night, touching the wall in a 24.77. This swim meet is an event our club looks forward to every year. This year Grayson Louie, Frankie Woods, and Viggo Pedersen were first-timers in our club to attend JP Fiset. “Last year we sent 6 of our swimmers. Next year we hope to send even more!”.last_img read more

Spacecraft enters orbit around Mars

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LA CA ADA FLINTRIDGE – The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter successfully rocketed into orbit around the Red Planet Friday, completing the first of many difficult maneuvers necessary to position the craft for its science missions. Control rooms at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver erupted with cheers at 2:25 p.m. as the announcement came that the NASA probe – which will study Mars’ atmosphere, surfaces and underground layers – was right on track. “The whole thing went off like clockwork,” said Fuk Li, the Mars program manager at JPL. “The spacecraft behaved exactly like we wanted it to.” “I thought it was a simulation, it went so well,” said JPL’s project manager Jim Graf. In the weeks beforehand, the probe’s path was so accurate flight engineers canceled several planned corrections. Still, they were visibly nervous Friday morning as the orbiter made its final approach. Since 1999, NASA lost two missions – the Mars Polar Lander and Mars Odyssey – to the planet. “I was worried because human beings learn by experience, and I had experienced not such great things lately,” said JPL’s Mars chief scientist, Dan McCleese, who was involved with both the failed missions. But unlike prior orbiters sent to Mars, this one was “very capable of taking care of itself if something were to happen,” said JPL flight system manager Howard Eisen. But that scenario was never tested. After a nerve-wracking half-hour during which the orbiter disappeared behind Mars, it emerged in a position that Eisen deemed “excellent” for future maneuvers. The nail biting isn’t over, though. In order for the probe to carry out most of its science objectives, engineers must guide it into a low circular orbit around the planet. During this six-month process called aerobraking, mission engineers repeatedly skim the probe through the top of the Martian atmosphere, slowing it and spiraling it closer to the surface. elise.kleeman@sgvn.com (626) 578-6300 Ext. 5541last_img read more

COLÁISTE AILIGH LAND FIVE GONGS AT BT YOUNG SCIENTIST AWARDS

first_imgColáiste Ailigh transition year students Claire and Hugh Anthony Mac Suibhne with Micheál Ó Giobúin and their award winning project titled ‘ An dearcadh atá ag daoine i dtreo gaeilge”Coláiste Ailigh students scoop five awards at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition including one of the main category awards.This was the Letterkenny school’s sixteenth year participating in this prestigious event.Coláiste Ailigh brothers Eoin and Ronan Mc Gaoithin with their project which investigated whether ‘Hawk-Eye’ can replaced by GPS at the BT Young Scientist and Technology exhibition. The students received a display award. Also in photo is Micheál Ó Giobúin, Príomhoide, Coláiste Ailigh.Coláiste Ailigh fifth year student Peadar Ó Ceallaigh with his highly commended BT Young Scientist project which investigated parental influences on the smoking habits of teenagers. Also in photo is Micheál Ó Giobúin muinteoir eolaíocht agus Príomhoide, Choláiste Ailigh.Coláiste Ailigh transition year students Cait Ní Leathlobhair agus Ultán Ó Fearáil who came third place in the intermediate section of the Chemical, Physical and Mathematical sciences with their project title ‘Development of novel test kit for rapid environmental monitoring of Copper’ Also in photo is their science teacher, Shane Ó BreacáiColáiste Ailigh first year students Aoibheann Ní Mhianain agus Áine Nic Diarmada with their highly commended project titled ‘An gCuidíonn peann aibhsibhe leat stáidéar a dhéanamh níos fearr? with their science teacher, Shane Ó Breacáin.Coláiste Ailigh students pack up after a very successful and enjoyable BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition at the RDS.  COLÁISTE AILIGH LAND FIVE GONGS AT BT YOUNG SCIENTIST AWARDS was last modified: January 10th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BT Young ScientistColaiste Ailighletterkennylast_img read more

DONEGAL’S HOOPS FANS BACK WARNING OVER BEHAVIOUR AFTER FLARES AT CUP MATCH

first_imgCeltic supporters’ associations in Donegal have joined supporters in Glasgow in appealing to fellow fans to stop setting off flares and smoke bombs inside grounds at home and abroad.Police are investigating complaints of anti-social behaviour by Celtic fans in Sunday’s Scottish Cup win at Stranraer.Joe O’ Rourke, General Secretary of the Celtic Supporters’ Association, said: “It needs to stop right away.” He has been backed by Donegal supporters.The Association of Irish Celtic Supporters’ Clubs said the use of pyrotechnics reflect poorly on the club, with the possible threat of fines or sanctions.Celtic have banned indefinitely three individuals “connected with the use of pyrotechnics”.Speaking after Sunday’s cup tie, Celtic manager Ronny Deila warned that the fans using pyrotechnics risk creating a “bad reputation”. The Premiership leaders already have a Uefa charge pending after fans set off flares in their Europa League match with Fenerbahce in December.In a statement on Celtic’s website, O’Rourke expressed sadness that the headlines following the cup tie at Stair Park were not about football.“I’ve said on here before, and I have the full backing of our member branches, the use of pyrotechnics needs to stop, and it needs to stop right away,” he added.“I was only yards away from the area where they seemed to be coming from, the people around me were, like me, of the senior variety, and all were of the opinion that it was unacceptable. In fact, there were a few angry words exchanged.“As this [the Scottish Cup] is an SFA authority tournament we will probably face a fine or sanctions of some form as well. A fantastic reputation built up over many years is being torn down by a small minority of our fans. “I really don’t know who is using the pyrotechnics but I’m asking for the benefit of our own fans to please stop.”DONEGAL’S HOOPS FANS BACK WARNING OVER BEHAVIOUR AFTER FLARES AT CUP MATCH was last modified: January 12th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CelticdonegalfansflaresHoopslast_img read more

NA ROSSA NARROWLY LOSE OUT TO DOWNINGS IN JUNIOR GAELTACHT

first_imgAlanah on behalf of Joe Gallagher, Stop & Shop and Paddy McDevitt, Boston homes LLG making the presentation to players and committee members of new tops sponsored for last weekends Gaeltacht championships.The club would like to thank you both for the very generous sponsorship and also to Alanah who presented the tops on the day. The seniors lost out to Downings in the Junior Gaeltacht semi final last weekend in Glenties. An excellent performance from the team losing only by a couple of points they will take a lot of confidence going into next weekends double fixture round.Next Saturday evening we host Robert Emmets with a 4pm throw in.On Sunday again in Dooey we play Carndonagh with a 3pm throw in.The club lotto draw took place last Monday evening in the hall. The jackpot was not won on the night. Numbers drawn were 11, 16, 20 & 27. Two lucky dip winners receive €50 Johnny Gallagher, Dirlaught & Annmarie McGettigan, Derrylaconnell. Next weeks jackpot stands at €2850.Well done to Keelin Devenney and “the clubhub ” app that was tried and tested at last weekends Gaeltacht finals. A great success. You will be able to download from the App Store & the play store in the coming weeks.Congratulations to former senior player Odhran Gallagher who got married last Weekend. From all at the club.The club would like to extend its sincere condolences to the families of John Melly & Packy Cannon who sadly passed away last weekend.NA ROSSA NARROWLY LOSE OUT TO DOWNINGS IN JUNIOR GAELTACHT was last modified: May 3rd, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAANa RossaSportlast_img read more

Mars Madness Hits

first_imgBedrock at this site added to a puzzle about ancient Mars by indicating that a lake was present, but that little carbon dioxide was in the air to help keep a lake unfrozen.Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, Feb 6, 2017The dilemma has been building for years, the Mars rover scientists say. From the photos, scientists see evidence of river channels and lakebeds on Mars, but chemically, the rocks don’t match. Dissolved CO2 in water helps minerals like iron and magnesium precipitate into carbonate rock. Orbiters and rovers have been unable to find carbonates above a low threshold.“We’ve been particularly struck with the absence of carbonate minerals in sedimentary rock the rover has examined,” said Thomas Bristow of NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. “It would be really hard to get liquid water even if there were a hundred times more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than what the mineral evidence in the rock tells us.” Bristow is the principal investigator for the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument on Curiosity and lead author of the study being published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.So far, no scenario rescues the disparate observations. It doesn’t appear the liquid water was under frozen lakes, or underground.“Curiosity’s traverse through streambeds, deltas, and hundreds of vertical feet of mud deposited in ancient lakes calls out for a vigorous hydrological system supplying the water and sediment to create the rocks we’re finding,” said Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “Carbon dioxide, mixed with other gases like hydrogen, has been the leading candidate for the warming influence needed for such a system. This surprising result would seem to take it out of the running.“The article leaves the dilemma unanswered. The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week.Let the scientists explain the geology before they launch into speculations about life. Remember, too, that the scientists were baffled and discouraged by widespread evidence of life-hindering salts and perchlorates on the surface (10/02/15). Why would lakebeds persist for billions of years on a planet frequently disturbed by global duststorms? If the moyboys would cure their obsession with millions of years and billions of years, maybe it would lead to new avenues of explanation. The Curiosity rover is sending back photos of things mission scientists are struggling to understand.It looks like there was standing water on Mars, but geologists can’t picture any circumstances where large amounts of water could have survived for long. The sun should have been cooler, for one thing, in the early years of the solar system. Another curiosity is that Curiosity (the name of the Mars Science Mission rover), has failed to find evidence of carbonates on the surface, yet those would be expected if Mars had more carbon dioxide in the past to act as a greenhouse gas to keep the surface warm enough for liquid water. These paradoxes, NASA’s Curiosity page says, make “climate modelers struggle to produce scenarios that get the surface of Mars warm enough for keeping water unfrozen.” (Visited 81 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

What the Pact on HFCs Will Mean for Builders

first_imgThe agreement earlier this month among 170 countries to phase in strict limits on the use of a common type of refrigerant will mean changes to many products used by residential builders, including foam insulation and heating and cooling equipment, but consumers probably won’t be seeing wholesale changes for a number of years.The accord reached in Kigali, Rwanda, commits the countries to a gradual phase-down of the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of chemical used as refrigerants and as blowing agents in foam insulation, beginning in 2019.A conversion to environmentally friendlier chemicals has been anticipated for years in the foam insulation industry, and in some cases already is underway, but makers of extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation don’t expect to be weaned off HFCs until 2021. On the heating and cooling side, one major manufacturer doesn’t expect a switch to newer refrigerants for residential equipment such as ductless minisplits for a number of years. The pact is an amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol and will be put into place gradually. The U.S. and the European Union are on a faster timetable than other nations, according to an article posted at The Guardian. In 2019, the U.S. pledges to cut its HFC use to no more than 90% of its baseline (an average from the years 2011 through 2013). By 2024 that drops to 60%, and then to 15% of the baseline by 2036.Unlike the refrigerants they replaced, HFCs don’t damage the ozone layer in our planet’s atmosphere. But they are powerful greenhouse gases with 1,000 times or more the potential of carbon dioxide to trap heat. As the demand for refrigeration and air conditioning has shot up, so has the use of HFCs.In addition to their use as refrigerants, HFCs also are used as blowing agents for extruded polystyrene insulation, a rigid foam common to many high-performance buildings, and in some types of spray polyurethane foam. Their high global warming potential (GWP) has steered some builders away from these products even though they excel as thermal insulation. Friendlier Foam Insulation On the Way, Eventually New Blowing Agent Addresses Climate Impact of Foam InsulationInsulation to Keep Us Warm — Not Warm the PlanetSpray Foam Insulation Is Not a Cure-All The Misleading Numbers Behind the Global Warming Impact of Insulation EPA Warns Against Unapproved Refrigerants in Air ConditionersThe Loophole and the Ozone Hole Refrigerants may be a tougher problemThe phase-down is a bigger deal for makers of air conditioners and heat pumps because components such as valves and compressors often must be altered or even completely redesigned when manufacturers switch from one kind of refrigerant to another.“There definitely will be an impact on refrigeration and air conditioning based on the amendment that was agreed on in Kigali,” Hillbrand said. “When that will happen is less clear.”The EPA, he said, has yet to approve an alternative to the R410a refrigerant used in central air conditioners, ductless minisplits, rooftop AC units, and high-pressure chillers. Alternatives are coming to market, but they’re not here yet.“We are definitely seeing a lot of movement of industry toward a couple of alternatives, but the products that use these refrigerants are still under design, and the safety standards and codes are still in the process of being updated,” Hillbrand said.In the past, the industry has approached conversions by looking for alternatives that are as compatible as possible with current equipment.“That is to say, chemical producers have worked closely with manufacturers of equipment to minimize the equipment redesign that will be required when transitioning to the new refrigerants,” Hillbrand said.“All of the major manufacturers have been supportive of the amendment to the Montreal Protocol,” he continued. “Most manufacturers do need to make some changes, of course, and there is real engineering that has to be done and changes to production and design. But the manufacturers have found time and time again they are left with better products that are more energy efficient and so they have supported these transitions and have continued to do so.” XPS industry hasn’t made the switchDow, Owens Corning, and Kingspan are the major manufacturers of XPS available in the U.S. and none has announced a switch from HFC to HFO blowing agents.When asked about a change, Kingspan sent GBA a two-sentence statement: “Kingspan is fully supportive of the plans to reduce HFC use agreed in the Rwanda Accord. International political agreements like this are crucial if we are to address successfully the threats posed by climate change.” The Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association (XPSA) issued a similar statement.Owens Corning said by email it would comply with regulations in the U.S. and Canada, meaning an end to HFC blowing agents in 2021, but presumably not before, adding, “The Kigali amendment does not affect the timing of the North American regulations or our compliance plans.” The company said it “fully supports” the intent of the Kigali agreement.EPA had originally sought a 2017 phase-out of HFCs in insulation, but the industry said the effective date was unrealistic. In its final rule, the EPA delayed the transition until 2021. Until then, HFCs will remain “acceptable” for use in XPS.In August, XPSA said it supported the phase-down of HFCs, calling it “an important accomplishment for the industry’s stewardship and sustainability objective and a natural step in the ongoing search for better technologies to serve our customers.”But, the association added, blowing agents are “not interchangeable” and that it took the industry 10 years to successfully complete each of the last two conversions from one blowing agent to another.The association says that the refrigeration industry is much bigger player in the debate than insulation. The use of HFCs in foam accounts for only 16% of total HFC production in North America, it said; just 7% of the HFC-134a produced here goes into foam insulation. A “significant” amount of the blowing agent remains in the foam at the end of its service life, with typical in-use emission rates between 0.5% and 1% per year, the association said.Plus, the trade group adds, energy savings resulting from the use of XPS are significant. “For every 1 lb. of C02 equivalent created to make an XPS foam board, 233 lb. of C02 equivalent are saved because of the energy spared throughout the life of the building,” the association said. Deal has broad support A statement issued on October 19 by David Doniger, director of clean air programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Stephen Yurek, CEO and president of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, praised the new pact on HFCs.Because of the growing worldwide demand for air conditioning and refrigeration, they said, HFCs are “the fastest growing of the gases damaging our climate.”“Unlikely as it may seem, this global HFC phase-down has the backing both of leading environmental groups and the industry that makes and uses these chemicals,” they said. “With their support, the Obama administration pushed hard for the Kigali deal to reduce and replace HFCs. Coming after last December’s Paris climate agreement, an HFC pact is the biggest step we can take this year to significantly reduce human impact on the environment.“The HFCs avoided over the next 35 years will amount to the heat-trapping equivalent of 70 billion tons of carbon dioxide,” the statement continued. “That is equal to stopping the entire world’s fossil-fuel carbon dioxide emissions for more than two years.”They said the agreement also will lead to better technology.“Cooperation on HFCs shows that we can still govern — locally and globally — and can solve the challenges of climate change,” they said. “ We all can and must do more to beat the heat and the HFC success story is a victory for common sense and the environment.” RELATED ARTICLES Insulation changes are already underwayA conversion to other chemicals for making insulation is already in the works in both the U.S. and Europe. The most likely replacement looks like hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs). They have a global warming potential of less than 1 and could be used in both spray polyurethane and XPS. Manufacturers still need to solve a few technical issues related to the conversion.Prodded by the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP), U.S. manufacturers already are facing a phase-out of HFCs in the years ahead. Most formulators of spray polyurethane insulation are planning a conversion to HFOs in anticipation of tougher EPA rules, according to one industry insider. Lapolla Industries Inc. already has such a product on the market.“Those that I’ve talked to in the foam industry seem to have this well in hand,” Alexander Hillbrand, a technical analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a telephone interview. “I think we see much more environmentally friendly alternatives on the market. They have better thermal performance by and large. They blow pretty well.“I have not heard any particular response [to the amendment] from the foam side,” he continued. “I haven’t heard of any particular holdups there.”Timing remains a question. The EPA has mandated a transition away from HFCs in XPS insulation by 2021, and Hillbrand said it’s still not completely clear how the Kigali agreement will be implemented.“We are waiting for the State Department’s guidance on how the U.S. can formally become party to the treaty, including this amendment,” Hillbrand said. “Perhaps additional steps need to be taken. We certainly have ratified or at least become a part of all the previous amendments. We have existing Clean Air Act authority to carry out all the control measures that we’ve agreed to under the HFC amendment. But in terms of the formal process we’re still waiting for some guidance on exactly how that will happen.” Mitsubishi sees changes years outMitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating, maker of a popular and efficient line of ductless minisplits used for both heating and cooling, said that the industry is hard at work on an alternative to R410a. Exactly when the industry will phase out its use of HFC refrigerants, however, ultimately depends on the EPA.“It’s probably going to be 2023 or 2024 for a changeover, but that’s not even definite,” said Paul Doppel, the senior director of industry and government affairs at Mitsubishi. “Everything is pretty much dependent on the EPA’s SNAP program.”EPA hasn’t hinted it will delist R410a for use in home heating and cooling systems anytime soon, and the agency may target other industries first to meet terms of the Rwanda accord, he said.The global warming potential of R410a is about 2,000, and Mitsubishi expects an interim step will be to develop refrigerant blends of HFCs and possibly some HFOs that get the GWP to no more than 750 before further development takes that value into the single digits. But an outright switch to an HFO refrigerant isn’t in the cards.“Development cycles are long,” Doppel said. “It’s going to take a while. It’s around the corner, but not right around the corner.”When the industry does move away from HFCs, he added, Mitsubishi doesn’t expect the efficiency of its heating and cooling equipment would suffer, and doubts there would be much of an impact on consumer pricing. In fact, an earlier conversion from R22 to R410a helped Mitsubishi introduce its inverter-driven compressors, a technical innovation that improved performance.last_img read more