If you are looking for EIA UK, it's overhere.

Leaders Need to Focus on the Climate and Not the Politics

By Natasha Hurley, EIA UK Climate Campaigner

Following hot on the heels of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in New York in September, a couple of events this week should put climate change back in the headlines.

First up is the UN Climate Conference, a final preparatory meeting before the big annual climate talks in December, which begins today in Bonn, the sleepy German town home to the Secretariat of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). On the agenda are negotiations towards a landmark agreement on climate change in 2015, as well as initiatives to increase reductions of greenhouse gas emissions between now and the entry into force of the new overarching agreement set for 2020.

There is a crying need for countries to step up what climate policy insiders refer to as ‘mitigation ambition’, as demonstrated in a series of annual reports quantifying the Emissions Gap produced by the UN’s Environment Programme. The latest in the series puts the gap between emissions trends and what is actually required to keep the rise in global temperature at a level which does not spell catastrophe for the planet at between 8-12 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) by 2020 – less a gap than a gaping chasm!

One very straightforward way of reducing that gap, of course, is for countries to tighten their domestic emissions reductions targets (more on that below). An additional option involves taking action in areas which offer high mitigation potential. As we at EIA have repeatedly argued, one such action would be the conclusion of an international agreement to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the super greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air-conditioning. In Bonn, we will be pressing negotiators to back the launch of formal negotiations on a global HFC phase-down under the Montreal Protocol at the upcoming Meeting of the Parties in Paris in November.

We’ll keep you updated on progress via our @EIAinvestigator twitter feed throughout the week.

Taking place in parallel to the UN Climate Summit on Thursday and Friday is the European Union’s two-day Summit on its 2030 Climate and Energy package, a set of measures intended to keep Europe on track towards the decarbonization of its economy by 2050. At the Summit, EU Heads of State and Government must agree on three headline targets covering greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. To reach the 2050 objective, which is a non-negotiable scientific imperative, we need maximum ambition on all three of those goals, beginning with a major emissions cut.

The EU’s current working target of 40 percent simply won’t pass muster, a fact acknowledged by some EU Member States, including Sweden which last week called for a 50 percent target.

Now here’s a thought: if our leaders were able to leave the politics and vested interests aside for just seven days, we could come out of this week’s meetings in Bonn and Brussels with across-the-board support for an international deal on HFCs and a meaningful EU emissions target, inspiring other countries around the world to raise their game and opening the way for an ambitious global climate agreement in 2015.

Call me optimistic, but I’m hoping UN and EU negotiators go into this week with a strong sense of purpose and a determination to get the best deal possible for the climate.

View all Blog Posts

Recent Blog Posts

Update on North American Safety Standards for Climate-Friendly Refrigerants
This month a new standards proposal under ASHRAE-15, represents some progress for uptake of climate-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerants to replace super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The proposal allows hydrocarbons to be used in corridors and lobbies of commercial buildings like hotels. It allows up to 114 grams of propane where previously none was allowed at all. This will enable vending machines and most other light commercial refrigeration equipment like small one door beverage coolers containing hydrocarbons to be used in these spaces.
California’s New Plan to Reduce HFCs in Supermarkets
Part one in a series on policy trends on eliminating HFCs, emerging from California.

Recent Reports

EIA Comments on ASHRAE-15 Standards Proposal
EIA comments on a proposed revision to a major U.S. safety standards, ASHRAE-15, calling for important revisions.
Search, Reuse and Destroy: Initiating Global Discussion to Act on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem
Search, Reuse and Destroy: Initiating Global Discussion to Act on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem

Recent Press Releases

EIA Response to New Nature Paper on Urgent Need to Recover and Destroy CFC Banks
Washington DC – A new paper published in Nature today warns that emissions from ‘banks’ of ozone-destroying CFCs, could potentially delay the Antarctic ozone hole recovery by about six years. The new paper, Quantifying contributions of chlorofluorocarbon banks to emissions and impacts on the ozone layer and climate, also estimates that future emissions from current CFC banks could lead to an additional 9 billion metric tonnes CO2e between 2020 and 2100.
EPA Rescinds Requirements on Super-Pollutant HFCs, Reversing Basic Safeguards on Leaks
EPA Rescinds Requirements on Super-Pollutant HFCs, Reversing Basic Safeguards on Leaks

Recent Videos

Blowing It
Information obtained by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) demonstrates conclusively that the use of CFC-11 in China’s rigid polyurethane (PU) foam insulation sector, in particular in the building and construction subsector, is widespread and pervasive. CFC-11 is used as a foam blowing agent for the manufacture of molded foam panels and spray foam used for insulation purposes
What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.
Help us mitigate climate destroying gases
Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge