Montreal Protocol Nearing Epic Climate Win on HFCs

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Will Eliminate Warming from One of the Six Main Greenhouse Gases

Most Significant Climate Victory in Near-Term

The Montreal Protocol is on the verge of an epic victory-- adopting the most significant measure to slow down climate change that can we can take immediately. Phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol could prevent the emission of the equivalent of 100 to 200 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the near term, with the potential to reduce warming up to a full degree Celsius this century.

The Montreal Protocol is a treaty that has never failed to do its job, working over the past 30 years to phase out the use and production of nearly 100 chemicals that attack the Earth's protective ozone layer and cause warming.

The Protocol's parties meet in Kigali, Rwanda 10-14 October to finalize the details of an amendment to phasedown the use of HFCs, the world's fastest-growing greenhouse gases, which are up to 4,000 times as powerful as carbon dioxide in warming the planet. While an amendment looks increasingly likely, the question is how ambitious it will be.

An ambitious HFC amendment could stop the equivalent of 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere by 2050 and avoid up to 0.5 Celsius of warming by end of century.

If, at the same time, it also promotes improvements in the energy efficiency of air conditioners and other products and equipment during the switch to climate friendly substitutes, it could prevent the emission of another 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide, with an even greater effect for limiting temperature increases, avoiding up to another 0.5 Celsius of warming. Taken together these actions provide our surest approach to cutting near-term temperatures and helping to avoid self-reinforcing, cascading, runaway climate impacts.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced $1 billion in lending over the next five years to support energy efficiency to accompany the HFC phase down, following an $80 million dollar fast-start fund pledged last month by donor states and private philanthropists, including Bill Gates.

The Economist recently reported on the Montreal Protocol, noting that "the world's most lauded environmental treaty could be about to notch up a new success," adding "a deal on HFCs would benefit the climate fast."

The Washington Post said "the stars seem to be aligning for major action on HFCs this year."

The New Times Rwanda noted an HFC amendment "would represent the most significant global action to reduce climate change since the adoption of the Paris Agreement."

The New York Times said that "anyone worried about global warming" has found much to cheer in progress towards an amendment, while the scientific magazine Nature called the amendment "a breath of fresh air."

This and other press coverage is listed below, including several Editorials, Op-Eds, and news stories.

IGSD's HFC Primer summarizes the science, the alternatives, the national measures already phasing down HFCs, and the policy developments at the international level.

The Economist Editorials

The Economist, "Low-hanging dirt" (3 October 2015)

The New York Times Editorials

The New York Times, "A Deepening Partnership with India" (14 June 2016)

The New York Times
, "Curbing a Potent Greenhouse Gas" (7 January 2014)

The New York Times, "Fresh Start for a Critical Relationship" (10 June 2013)

The Washington Post Editorial

The Washington Post, "Ways to fight warming: Strategies that would reduce emissions" (26 February 2012)

Nature Editorial

Nature, "A breath of fresh air" (11 November 2015)

Op-Eds calling for an HFC amendment:

The Diplomat, Op-Ed, Peter Christian, "Following Micronesia's Lead on Climate Change" (10 October 2016)

Climate Home, Op-Ed, Mohamed Adow, "Poor countries have nothing to fear from scrapping HFCs" (28 September 2016)

OGlobo, Op-Ed, Stela Herschmann & Carlos Rittl, "Um alívio imediato para o clima" (27 September 2016)

Financial Express, Op-Ed, Ajay Mathur, "Here's why India needs to be at the forefront of effort to phase out HFCs" (21 September 2016)

Le Monde Afrique, Op-Ed, Cheikh Sylla, "L'Afrique veut une elimination rapide des <> à effet de serre HFC" (16 September 2016)

Project Syndicate, Op-Ed, Patricia Espinosa & Mario Molina, "The Climate's Low-Hanging Fruit" (9 September 2016)

Mediapart, Op-Ed, Hakima El Haite & Laurence Tubiana, "L'amendement au protocole de Montréal: une nécessité" (21 July 2016)

USA Today, Op-Ed, Mario Molina, V. Ramanathan, & Durwood Zaelke, "Paris deal's carbon cuts miss critical warming target
" (22 April 2016)

UNFCCC News Room, Op-Ed, Achim Steiner & Christiana Figueres, "Fast-Tracking Climate Action" (24 March 2016)

Council on Foreign Relations, Op-Ed, Mario Molina & Durwood Zaelke, "Cutting Short-Lived Pollutants Can Give Quick Wins on Warming" (7 December 2015)

The Dawn, Op-Ed, Tariq Waseem Ghazi & A.K. Singh, "Climate Security" (30 October 2015)

The Huffington Post, Op-Ed, V. Ramanathan & Durwood Zaelke, "Reducing Climate Injustice to the Poor Is Within Our Reach" (21 September 2015)

Business Standard, Op-Ed, Rajendra Shende, "Beyond borders: India, China must show climate stewardship" (13 May 2015)

Economic Times, Op-Ed, Rajendra Shende, "Obama-Modi summit can accelerate a climate-proof world" (4 February 2015)

Recent stories on HFCs, Montreal Protocol, and energy efficiency:

All Africa, Athan Tashobya, "Hosting Montreal Protocol Meet 'puts Kigali in Driving Seat'" (3 October 2016)

The Economist, "The Montreal protocol: To coldly go" (24 September 2016)

Scientific American, Jean Chemnick, "Kerry calls for HFC phaseout, says Paris alone won't 'get the job done'"(23 September 2016)

The Guardian, Oliver Milman, "100 countries push to phase out potentially disastrous greenhouse gas" (22 September 2016)

Le Monde, Clémentine Thiberge, "Vers une suppression des hydrofluorocarbones, puissants gaz à effet de serre" (17 August 2016)

All Africa, James Karuhanga, "Rwanda Set to Reduce Greenhouse Emissions" (24 July 2016)

The New York Times
, Coral Davenport, "A Sequel to the Paris Climate Accord Takes Shape in Vienna" (23 July 2016)