Monday, October 03, 2016

A Critical Opportunity to Build on the Paris Agreement

Montreal Protocol (Credit: Click to Enlarge.
International negotiators will gather in Kigali, Rwanda, next month with the goal of phasing down one of the most potent and rapidly expanding greenhouse gases affecting the climate.  Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are a family of industrial chemicals used worldwide in air conditioners, refrigeration, foam products, and aerosols.

Momentum for taking action is building.  On the sidelines of the recent U.N. General Assembly, more than 100 nations signed a declaration calling for an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to ambitiously deal with HFCs, with an early freeze date for developing countries and an early first reduction step for developed countries.

To jump start the transition away from HFCs, 16 donor nations have offered $27 million in new and additional money for use by developing countries in limiting HFC use in 2017.  Donor countries are also committing to support the longer-term phase-down costs under the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund.

In an unprecedented move, a group of philanthropists (19 foundations and private individuals including Bill Gates and Tom Steyer) have offered an additional $53 million to developing countries to support efforts to move from HFCs to more energy-efficient alternatives.

The business community also added its voice to that of governments and philanthropic organizations with more than 500 companies and organizations issuing a call to action in support of an ambitious agreement on an HFC phasedown in October.

Action on HFCs is the single most significant step nations can take this year to advance the goal established in the Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius.  Estimates are that an ambitious HFC amendment would reduce global warming by as much as 0.5 degrees by the end of the century.

Read more at A Critical Opportunity to Build on the Paris Agreement

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