Tag: Short Lived Climate Pollutants

Montreal Protocol: Deal to phase down HFCs a major score for global climate action

15 October, Kigali: Climate Action Network welcomes the outcome reached in Kigali under the Montreal Protocol to phase down “super greenhouse gases” known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This is a critical step towards limiting warming and the single biggest climate action of the year, just weeks before leaders meet in Morocco for international climate talks.

The amendment establishes three different timetables for all developed and developing countries to freeze and then reduce their production and use of HFCs.

Developed countries agreed to make their first HFC cuts by 2019. China, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, and more than 100 other developing countries have committed to freeze their HFC production and use by 2024, and make further reductions thereafter. India, Gulf States, and Pakistan have agreed to make HFC reductions on a slower track.

It is crucial that in the coming years countries work towards transitioning to energy efficient and environment friendly alternatives. The agreed technology review will help with rapid maturity of alternatives and enable countries to strengthen their actions.

The results from Kigali on HFCs as well as the recent outcome on aviation emissions shows that governments are taking the objective of the Paris Agreement seriously. CAN hopes that countries will accelerate national ambition over time but soon enough to give a fighting chance for the world to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 C.  

Representatives from civil society organisations reacted to the agreement as follows:

“This is a major breakthrough: The world has come together to curb climate-wrecking super-pollutant HFCs. This is the biggest step we can take in the year after the Paris agreement against the widening threats from climate change. And bringing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol sends a clear signal to the global marketplace to start replacing these dangerous chemicals with a new generation of climate-friendly and energy-efficient alternatives.” David Doniger, NRDC’s Climate and Clean Air program director.   

 “The success of this agreement will be determined by how much developing countries can leapfrog HFCs and how much countries can avoid yet another chemical alternative like toxic HFOs and adopt natural refrigerants. This will be decisive in the coming months and years.” Paula Tejón Carbajal, Global strategist, Greenpeace International

“The agreement reflects the willingness of all parties to take action on climate change. What we have achieved at Kigali is the beginning. We can build on this success and further enhance climate actions by countries under the Montreal Protocol and in other climate agreements, especially the Paris Agreement,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE

“To aid the switch to newer and safer natural refrigerants, sufficient funding will be required through the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to enable poorer countries to invest in the new technology. It is vital that developed countries also share their progress on technological breakthroughs.” Benson Ireri, Senior Policy Advisor, Christian Aid

“The Kigali Amendment, just prior to the adoption of the Paris Agreement, brings concrete global action to fight catastrophic global warming. With billions of tonnes of emissions still up for grabs, the ultimate success of the Kigali amendment will depend on accelerating the removal of these industrial climate-killers in upcoming meetings.” Clare Perry, Climate Campaign Leader, Environmental Investigation Agency

Contact:
For more information, contact Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or call on +918826107830

About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org

Montreal Protocol: Call for show of leadership as ministers converge for high-level talks on phasing down HFCs

12 October 2016, Kigali: Negotiations to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase-down HFCs enter a critical stage as nearly 40 ministers arrive in Kigali (Rwanda) on Thursday to attend the high-level discussions. Hydrofluorocarbons are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in many countries.
An agreement to halt their growth and to rapidly transition to energy efficient and climate-friendly alternatives can avoid warming of up to 0.5 degrees warming by the end of the century. This would greatly increase our chances to meet the world’s climate goal, to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.    

“Climate Action Network urges leaders use this occasion to come together to strike an ambitious deal to cut down on these heat-trapping "super pollutants" and reaffirm the commitment they made in Paris to use every opportunity they have to tackle climate change. A success in Kigali can really raise the bar for greater ambition on global climate action in the years ahead,” said Wael Hmaidan, International Director, Climate Action Network  
In the Paris Agreement, national leaders promised to try their hardest to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. However, those promises will ring hollow if we don’t get an early date for the global phase down of HFCs.  These chemicals are thousands of times more potent than C0₂ as a greenhouse gas and are increasing in use by 10-15% a year.”
 

Benson Ireri, Christian Aid’s Senior Policy Officer for Africa, said: “It’s fitting that ministers will be arriving here at the summit in the coming days because it is their government's credibility that will be on the line if we don’t get a good outcome. Vulnerable countries do not have time to wait, the climate is changing fast and phasing down HFCs is something which we absolutely must do if we’re going to honour the pledges of the Paris Agreement. It would be an embarrassing start if the Agreement came into force next month and countries had failed their first test by delivering a feeble deal on HFCs."
 

This week the Montreal Protocol has rapidly moved closer to an amendment that will build significantly on climate action committed under the Paris Agreement. Although we've made progress on the important issue of baselines in the negotiations, time is scarce, and barely three negotiating days remain to reach the ambition necessary to achieve the 0.5 degree contribution to avoided warming that we desperately need." said Avipsa Mahapatra, Climate Campaign Lead, Environmental Investigation Agency (US).  "It is pivotal that all Parties agree to an early freeze date for HFC production and consumption and that sufficient funding and flexibility mechanisms are made available to enable such action in developing countries."

Conditions are ripe for reaching an ambitious agreement to phase-down HFCs this week. The technology to transition to energy efficient and climate-friendly alternatives is already available. As the talks progress, most developing countries are displaying ambition and are ready for a freeze starting in the first half of the next decade. Developed countries are also supporting early action and pledging adequate funding to developing countries through the Multilateral Fund,” said Bhaskar Deol, NRDC India Representative.

CAN Briefing: G20 Key Demands, July 2016

In December 2015, the G20, as part of the 196 Parties to the UNFCCC, committed to a historic global agreement to address climate change and pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, so as to mitigate the harmful effects on the world’s people, biodiversity and the global environment.

According to the IPCC, the global carbon budget consistent with a 66% chance of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5ºC will be used up by 2021 if we carry on under current projections. For any fair likelihood of meeting the Paris temperature targets, our collective mitigation efforts need to be multiplied as soon as possible. Otherwise, our countries and economies will face severe impacts of unstoppable climate change, including social, environmental and economic instability. In recent years, we have seen the G20 countries take more serious notice of the role that climate change plays on its overall objectives, in particular its objective to promote financial stability. G20 leadership on climate change is extremely important since the greenhouse gas emissions of the G20 member countries account for approximately 81% of total global emissions. It is therefore imperative that the G20 countries start collaborating immediately on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, using their influence, to develop a consensus-building approach and focus on financial stability to drive stronger action on climate change.

Climate Action Network has eight key demands for the G20:

  • Ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible; 
  • Develop and communicate interim National Long-term Strategies for Sustainable Development and Decarbonization by 2018; 
  • Achieve an ambitious outcome on HFC phase-down this year;
  • Introduce mandatory climate-risk disclosure for investments; 
  • Remove fossil-fuel subsidies;
  • Accelerate renewable energy initiatives towards 100% RE; 
  • Ensure that new infrastructure is pro-poor and climate compatible;
  • Support effective ambition for international aviation and shipping.
Region: 
Organization: 

CAN statement: Montreal Protocol: Finish line in sight, now countries must seal the deal in 2016

Climate Action Network statement on the conclusion of the Vienna talks
Montreal Protocol: Finish line in sight, now countries must seal the deal  

Vienna, Austria, 25 July 2016: Civil society organisations welcome the progress that has been made at the international negotiations for phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which ended on a high this weekend in Vienna. Countries reaffirmed their commitments and sent a strong signal that climate action is a priority following the signing of the Paris Agreement. An agreement to amend the Montreal Protocol to cut potent heat-trapping chemicals used in refrigerants, air-conditioners and insulants has been nearly seven years in the making and now seems highly likely to be settled this year.
Following these latest round of negotiations, a deal will likely be struck when the Parties to the Montreal Protocol meet in October in Kigali, Rwanda. It may be the most important climate action of the year and demonstrate a united front towards fighting climate change just weeks before countries meet in Morocco in November for COP 22.

“An agreement this year to phasedown future consumption and production of HFCs would be a huge climate victory. China is working constructively with the US, Latin America, Europe, and other parties to reach a deal that will provide a clear timetable for transitioning to climate-friendly alternatives and strengthen finance for developing countries' transitions,” said Alvin Lin, China Climate and Energy Policy Director, NRDC China.

Expectations from Vienna were high as negotiators drafted the language of the agreement and worked on resolving details pertaining to additional funding to assist developing countries stay on track with their HFC commitments, calculating baselines, and determining timelines and schedules to freeze HFCs.

“It’s been great to see countries across the board show increasing flexibility to resolve some of the difficult issues. Specifically, progress has been made on agreeing an early freeze date for ending the use of HFCs, a baseline from which to start the phasedown and potential national reduction targets,” said Benson Ireri, Senior Advocacy and Policy Officer, Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture, Africa Division, Christian Aid.

While little now stands in the way to Kigali, it is imperative that countries stay focused on an ambitious agreement by working constructively to fill the gaps that remain and not losing sight of the fact that phasing down HFCs, the fastest growing greenhouse gases, could help avoid 0.5C warming by 2100.

“Though countries are ready to sign an agreement to phasedown HFCs this year, the proposals on the table are not ambitious enough. Countries need to agree on an ambitious phasedown schedule that will allow rapid reduction in HFC use in developed countries and enable developing countries to leapfrog to safer, energy efficient alternatives. This is the only way the Montreal Protocol can meaningfully contribute to reducing global warming,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, Centre for Science and Environment, India.  

More resources:

Vienna HFC Talks: Progress, High Expectations, & Work Ahead: NRDC

Executive High-level Assembly Vienna Communique: CCAC

Remarks at the Montreal Protocol High-level Segment: John Kerry, US Secretary of State

Reducing Hydrofluorocarbons via the Montreal Protocol is the most significant climate action the world can take this year: UNEP Press Statement

For more information, contact:
Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN- International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or call on +918826107830

About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org

 

Montreal Protocol: Vienna talks pave the way for an ambitious plan to phase down HFCs

Who and where: The Open-Ended Working Group of Parties to the Montreal Protocol will meet in Vienna, Austria, on 15 July 2016. Nearly 40 ministers have committed to be present in the negotiations on 22-13 July. Last year, Parties agreed to reach an agreement in 2016 on cutting down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in many countries. Used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, HFCs are used in refrigeration, air conditioning, insulation, aerosols, solvents and fire protection products. Successful talks in Vienna could lead to an agreement when the Parties meet in Kigali, Rwanda, in October 2016. Such an agreement will help establish an early, clear and ambitious schedule to phase down HFCs, improve appliance energy efficiency, and quickly arrest warming.

 Why:

  • Nearly 178 countries to date have signed the Paris Agreement and 19 have ratified it. The international community recognises the urgency to take immediate measures to prevent global warming passing the 1.5ºC threshold.
  • The talks in Vienna will set the stage for an agreement on an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs as it presents the earliest opportunity for the international community to unite once again on another landmark environmental pact to protect the climate.
    A rapid phasedown of HFCs could prevent more than 100 billion tonnes of CO2-e from entering the atmosphere over the next several decades and avoid 0.5°C warming by the end of the century. There are four proposals to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs (from the North American countries, the European Union, India and the Island States.) There is strong political will to take the talks forward demonstrated by the many high-level ministers who will be present in Vienna.
  • In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was formed to address the depletion of the ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances. The success of that agreement, which has put the ozone layer on the path to recovery by 2065, calls for a repeat.

Civil society expectations from this meeting:  

  • The talks in Vienna should set the stage for an agreement that will ensure an ambitious phase-down schedule for both developed and developing countries.
  • Developed countries need to lead on setting an ambitious phase-down schedule of HFCs so as to commercialise climate-friendly alternatives, make them competitive and build confidence for developing countries to transition.
  • Developed countries need to provide adequate funding and technology transfer under the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to enable developing countries to remain on track with their phase-down schedule.
  • Additional fast start funding should be made available to developing countries to achieve energy efficiency gains, including to improve the design of equipment using alternatives to HFCs.          

More resources:
Ozone Secretariat 
CAN Briefing Paper: Achieving an ambitious outcome on HFC Phasedown under the Montreal Protocol in 2016 (Climate Action Network International)
Momentum growing for HFC agreement as Vienna talks kick-off (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Primer on HFCs (Institute of Governance and Sustainable Development
The importance of ambition in the 2016 HFC phase-down agreement (Environmental Investigation Agency)

For more information, please contact:
Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator-Policy, CAN International,
email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org or call +918826107830,
Lina Dabbagh, Senior Policy Coordinator, CAN International, email: ldabbagh@climatenetwork.org 

About CAN:
The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1100 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 countries, working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels

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