Image showing the ozone layer above Antarctica (NASA)

High stakes as the Montreal Protocol seeks HFC deal

The stakes are high as the Montreal Protocol prepares for a series of meetings to agree on a global phase-down of climate-harming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Following the adoption of the Dubai Pathway on HFCs, Parties are set to negotiate and adopt an HFC amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the first major test of the Paris Climate Agreement and the global commitment “to pursue efforts to limit the [average global] temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius.”

The level of climate ambition in the agreed HFC phase-down will be crucial in determining whether or not the Montreal Protocol passes the test.

EIA has prepared a new briefing, The Importance of Ambition in the 2016 HFC Phase-Down Agreement, to inform the meetings in Vienna later this month.

There is no substitute for an ambitious HFC phase-down for both non-Article 5 (developed countries) and Article 5 (developing countries) Parties. It will not only achieve significant short-term climate benefits but will also ensure long-term sustained reductions in HFC consumption.

And, importantly, it is significantly less expensive as it will maximise the opportunities for countries to leap-frog HFCs altogether and incentivise transitions to final low-GWP solutions rather than proceeding along a slow and costly progression from high-GWP to medium-GWP to lower-GWP HFCs.

With as few as five years left at current global emissions levels before the option to limit warming to 1.5°C is lost, there has never been a more critical time for the Montreal Protocol to take the most ambitious path forward.

EIA campaigners will attend the Montreal Protocol meetings in Vienna from July 15-23, 2016 to ensure that the highest level of ambition will be part of the HFC amendment deal.