UN Web site encourages recycling of greenhouse gas
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations launched a Web site on Friday aimed at making it easier for businesses to recycle halon, a gas hard to replace as a fire retardant that also contributes to global warming.
The On-Line Halon Trader, a virtual marketplace found at www.halontrader.org
, is intended to promote the resale of halon already in use and thereby reduce demand for newly produced halon.
The gas is being phased out worldwide because it attacks the Earths protective ozone layer when released into the atmosphere, warming the Earth and increasing the risk of skin cancers.
But it is still permitted for essential uses under the Montreal Protocol, a global 1989 environmental accord.
While industrial nations no longer make halon, the protocol gave poorer nations until 2010 to end their production.
Through the free Internet service put in place by the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP), companies that need halon can post their needs, to be matched up with companies or halon banks with recycled halon in their possession.
Since 1993, UNEPs existing Paris-based halon banking clearinghouse has helped change hands nearly 3,000 tonnes of types of halon capable of contributing to global warming.
Putting the clearinghouse on the Internet should expand the trade, the U.N. agency said.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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