RELEASE: International Community Should Use Montreal Protocol to Phase Down HFCs
Washington, D.C. — Today, as the 25th annual meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol is taking place in Bangkok, the Center for American Progress released an analysis highlighting why the international community should use the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs. If left unchecked, HFCs will make up 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
The Montreal Protocol was dramatically successful in addressing the impending disaster of the last century by largely eliminating the use of ozone-destroying substances. That same protocol and existing infrastructure can and should now be used to redress the use of HFCs.
“The Montreal Protocol is the best weapon we have for reducing HFCs, the fastest-growing source of global warming pollution,” said Rebecca Lefton, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress. “The leadership of President Obama has built momentum for a global phasedown of HFCs, including agreement to work together with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and China’s President Xi Jinping, but India is not following through on their commitment by blocking progress at the Montreal Protocol meeting in Bangkok this week. Now is the time for India to get on board in the phasedown of HFCs.”
The Montreal Protocol is optimally placed to address the growing threat posed by HFCs to climate change for the following reasons:
- A global phasedown of HFCs can prevent 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100. Because HFCs are hundreds to tens of thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide, and their average atmospheric life is less than 15 years, quick action to replace them with less potent greenhouse gases will have immediate benefits for the climate.
- The Montreal Protocol has an unprecedented record of success. The Montreal Protocol is the only universally ratified U.N. treaty, and has successfully phased out global consumption of ODSs.
- The Montreal Protocol organization houses the necessary technical expertise. The Montreal Protocol convenes international panels of experts to provide research on the technical issues, and supports thousands of projects throughout the developing world, having disbursed almost $3 billion through its Multilateral Fund.
- The Montreal Protocol structure accommodates differences between developing and developed nations. The Montreal Protocol was designed to accommodate a gradual phasedown of ODSs that would account for economic differences between developed and developing countries, consistent with the UNFCCC principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities.
- The momentum for HFC phasedown is stronger than ever. From the pledge by President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Sunnylands Summit to support by G-20 leaders, support is rapidly growing within the international community to use the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs.
Read the analysis: Top 5 Reasons to Phase Down HFCs in the Montreal Protocol by Rebecca Lefton and Ben Bovarnick
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