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Historic Agreement Reached on Global Deal to Cut HFCs, Super Pollutant Greenhouse Gases

Kigali, Rwanda – Parties to the Montreal Protocol are expected to adopt an historic global agreement mandating controls on hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) consumption and production after eight years of protracted negotiations.

The agreement, expected to be approved within hours, will avoid more than 70 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent HFC emissions.

The Kigali amendment will cap and phase down HFC consumption starting 2019, with developed countries taking action first and developing countries beginning the phase down in 2024.

Most developing countries, including China – by far the largest HFC consumer and producer – have committed to freeze HFC consumption in 2024. A second, later schedule was agreed for a small number of countries including India, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

“Compromises had to be made, but 85% of developing countries have committed to the early schedule starting 2024, which is a very significant achievement,” Clare Perry, EIA UK Climate Campaign Leader. “According to our initial calculations, this deal will avoid more than 70 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions by 2050 – which will be close to avoiding a half a degree of warming.”

Alexander von Bismarck, EIA US Executive Director said, “The Kigali Amendment, with the Paris Agreement, gives 2016 the biggest one-two punch in the history of battling global warming. Still, with billions of tonnes of emissions left untouched, the ultimate power of the Kigali amendment now depends on accelerating the removal of these industrial climate-killers in upcoming meetings.”

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Editor’s Notes:
• HFCs are super polluting greenhouse gases thousands of times more damaging to the climate than CO2, used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances in refrigeration, air-conditioning and foams. They are fastest growing group of greenhouse gases.
• The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has been calling for a phase-down amendment under the Montreal Protocol since 2007.
• In 2009, the Federated States of Micronesia and Mauritius were the first countries to propose an amendment under the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs.
• Further details in Averting Climate Catastrophe: Our Obligation to Adopt an Ambitious Kigali HFC Amendment to the Montreal Protocol

Contact:
Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA US Climate Campaign Lead, amahapatra@eia-global.org, +1 347-931-0129
Maggie Dewane, EIA US Press Officer, mdewane@eia-global.org, +1 202-483-6621

The Agreement Highlights

Standards – Parties are expected to work towards ensuring global industry standards to enable the safe introduction of low-GWP alternatives to HFCs.
Energy Efficiency – Parties are expected to agree to a way forward to maximize energy efficiency in the transition out of HFCs.
Technology review – To be completed first in 2022 and every five years after. Additional technology review 4-5 years before 2028 to consider the compliance deferral of two years from the freeze of 2028 in A5 Group 2 to address growth in relevant sectors above certain threshold.

View all Press Releases

Recent Blog Posts

Can I be HFC-free? A Quest for Climate-friendly Cooling
08/10/2020
Supermarkets in particular have enormous refrigeration systems that extend past the display cases to back room chillers, refrigerated trucks, cold warehouses and so on. With such large systems, supermarkets are among the largest corporate offenders of HFC use, with thousands of tons of these chemicals throughout their cold chain. Yet out of nearly 40,000 supermarkets in the U.S., barely 1% are known to have transitioned to HFC-free systems; our Supermarket Scorecard shows that action and change throughout the industry is needed. These large companies have a greater climate footprint than you or me, and thus a greater responsibility to transition to climate-friendly alternatives.
Finding the Promise in Compromise: EIA Proposal to Jumpstart California HFC Reclaim
07/27/2020
Last week EIA participated in California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) 6th workshop on proposed regulations to reduce emissions of super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling. The state’s rigorous process for proposing new regulations on HFC refrigerants has been ongoing for several years now and is in the final stretch. Opportunities for stakeholder engagement have been abundant and ARB has invited input from industry along the way. They even aligned with an industry proposed 2023 deadline for transitioning new air conditioning equipment to refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) less than 750.

Recent Reports

EIA Comments to OEWG-42
07/02/2020
EIA Comments to the 42nd Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG-42) TEAP Replenishment Task Force Report .
EIA Comments on ASHRAE-15 Standards Proposal
03/25/2020
EIA comments on a proposed revision to a major U.S. safety standards, ASHRAE-15, calling for important revisions.

Recent Press Releases

100,000+ Consumers Say Walmart Should Not Put Off Curbing Climate-Harming Refrigerants for 20 Years
09/21/2020
New Announcement Waiting Until 2040 to Phase Out HFCs Leaves Walmart Way Behind Competitors – Including Aldi, Target, and Whole Foods – Who Already Have Taken Action
Unlocking Kigali Amendment Climate Benefits
08/17/2020
A new safety standard proposed by an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) working group is vital to maximizing emission reductions from a global phase-down of super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
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.
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