Denmark today became the first country in the world to institute a general ban on use in new products and equipment of the three industrial greenhouse gases controlled by the Kyoto protocol. Under regulations signed by environment minister Hans Christian Schmidt most uses of the so-called "F-gases" will be prohibited from 1 January 2006.
Denmark's hard line is politically significant because debate is continuing to rage elsewhere on whether hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in particular should be seen more as a problem or still as a valuable substitute for ozone-depleting CFCs. Greenpeace welcomed today's announcement as "an important signal to the rest of the world".
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