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Japan enacts amended law for curbing CFC emissions

  • May 29, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 1:48 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 29 (Jiji Press) — Japan on Wednesday enacted a bill to amend the law for curbing the emissions of fluorocarbons, in order to ensure their substitutes with strong greenhouse effects are recovered appropriately.

The House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, the country’s parliament, approved the bill by a unanimous vote at a plenary session.

The measure, which last week passed the other chamber, the House of Representatives, will come into force within a year following its promulgation.

The revised law calls for stricter penalties against building owners and others so that substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and other fluorocarbons used as refrigerants will not be released into the air when business-use refrigerators and air conditioners are disposed of.

At present, penalties are imposed on building owners and others who fail to appropriately recover fluorocarbons at the time of disposals of devices, only when they repeat violations despite prefectural government orders.

Following the amendment, a fine of up to 500,000 yen will be charged even for the first violation. The revised law also stipulates that prefectural government officials in charge of recycling can conduct on-site inspections based on information about building demolition work.

According to the Environment Ministry and other sources, slightly less than 40 pct of the fluorocarbons in business-use devices are recovered when the machines are disposed of.

The use of fluorocarbon substitutes, which do not deplete the ozone layer, is increasing. But their insulating effects are up to over 10,000 times the level of carbon dioxide, they said.

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