Nearly 200 countries have reached an agreement to phase out the extremely potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The deal was struck at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP28) in Kigali, Rwanda. Countries adopted an amendment to phase down HFCs, committing to cut their production and consumption by more than 80% over the next 30 years.
HFCs are used widely in air conditioning, refrigerators and aerosol sprays, and by cutting their emissions additional warming of nearly 0.5oC could be avoided. This seemingly small impact on temperature rise will go a long way to limiting the worst impacts of climate change, as even small increases in global average temperatures can have outsized impacts.
Mattlan Zackhras, Minister-in-Assistance to the President, Republic of the Marshall Islands, said: “This is the biggest step we have taken this year towards making the goals of the Paris Agreement a reality, and ensuring we do what is necessary to save my country. It may not be entirely what the islands wanted, but it is a good deal and the High Ambition Coalition fought hard to secure it.”
The High Ambition Coalition was instrumental in pushing for an ambitious deal throughout the negotiations. Micronesia also played an important role.
— Minister M. Zackhras (@MattlanZackhras) October 14, 2016