STATEMENT: John Podesta on United States and China Agreement to Phase Down Hydrofluorocarbons

Washington, D.C. – Today, John Podesta, chair of the Center for American Progress, and former White House Chief of staff, released the following statement reacting to the news that the United States and China have agreed to work together to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs):

The American-Chinese agreement to phase down HFCs is great news for the planet. Phasing down HFCs under the protocol will reduce climate change pollution equivalent to 100 billion tons of C02 emissions by 2050.  This measure will avoid .5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. The global goal is to limit temperature increase caused by climate change to 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, and we’ve already warmed the planet 1 degree Celsius. Phasing out HFCs is hugely important given the disastrous increase in extreme weather and public health threats we are already experiencing.

To date, China has been a key hold out to getting a deal on phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol which the U.S. has been pushing for the last four years.  President Barack Obama deserves great credit for his leadership and I applaud President Xi’s decision to commit Chinese leadership to help solve the climate crisis. This HFC agreement is a critical step to fulfill President Obama’s promise to respond to the threat of climate change, as he said in his inaugural address.

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