DUBAI: Today the world’s governments agreed to start formal negotiations to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases used primarily in refrigeration and air-conditioning.
At an extended preparatory meeting of the Montreal Protocol, Parties agreed a mandate for a contact group to begin deliberations at the 27th Meeting of the Parties next week in Dubai.
Four proposals to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs have been submitted to the meeting. In addition, the US, Canada and Mexico have submitted an information document to the meeting, proposing a two-step approach starting with a scaled back amendment agreement in 2015 with remaining items to be negotiated in 2016.
A new report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Solving the Global Climate Crisis: Taking the first step with a Dubai Amendment on HFCs is calling on Parties to agree ambitious HFC reductions in developed countries and early action to curtail HFC growth in developing countries.
Clare Perry, EIA Climate Campaign Team Leader, said: “HFCs are the fastest growing group of greenhouse gases and international action is urgently needed. A phase-down agreement under the Montreal Protocol could avoid over 100 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions, with huge additional climate benefits expected through transitioning to energy-efficient technologies.”
“By starting negotiations for an HFC phase-down at the Montreal Protocol, 197 countries have come together and demonstrated that multilateral action is possible with political will,” said Mark W. Roberts, EIA International Policy Advisor. “An amendment during next week’s Meeting of the Parties would be a much-needed shot in the arm for climate action and a strong signal to the UNFCCC to adopt a robust agreement at CoP 21 in Paris.”
1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) investigates and campaigns against environmental crime and abuses.
2. EIA’s new report is available at https://eia-international.org/wp-content/uploads/EIA-Solving-the-Global-Climate-Crisis-FINAL.pdf
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