WASHINGTON (AP) — Disparate interests including environmental activists and business interests are joining to support a first-of-its-kind deal between the U.S. and China to phase out a chemical blamed for climate change.
Although it took most proponents by surprise, the deal was in the bag before President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) announced it.
The U.S. has long proposed using a decades-old ozone-protection treaty to stem hydrofluorocarbons — coolants used in refrigerators and air conditioners. The White House says China's endorsement shows practical cooperation with the U.S.
For China, it may have been more about dollars and cents. The EU recently banned payments to developing nations for destroying a byproduct created when producing the gas.
A U.N. program said it would pay Chinese companies to phase in alternative chemicals.