Washington, D.C. – Today, as the 25th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol concluded in Bangkok, Thailand, Center for American Progress Chair John Podesta released the following statement:
This week in Bangkok, the parties to the Montreal Protocol missed a critical opportunity to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius by reducing the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. A global effort to phase down HFCs is one of the best tools we have to curb climate change, and could avoid half a degree of warming by the end of the century.
The Obama administration has shown tremendous international leadership on this issue. In June, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a historic pledge to work together to phase down HFCs using multilateral approaches, including the Montreal Protocol. In September, President Obama agreed with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss multilateral approaches for phasing down HFCs. Unfortunately, in Bangkok, the Indian delegation stepped back from this commitment and succeeded in blocking an amendment to address HFCs. Given the devastating unchecked effects that climate change is certain to have on the Indian subcontinent, the decision of the Indian government is inexplicable.
We must keep the issue of combating HFCs at the forefront of international climate discussions, including next month’s U.N. negotiations in Warsaw. But higher-level leadership will be needed to break the stalemate that for too long has prevented progress in multilateral climate talks. World leaders should use the 2014 U.N. climate summit as an opportunity to unite around a global phasedown of HFCs by leveraging the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol.
To speak with an expert on this topic, contact Anne Shoup at 202.481.7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.