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:, 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.


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.


  • 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: or call +918826107830,
Lina Dabbagh, Senior Policy Coordinator, CAN International, email: 

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

CAN Letter to new UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, July 2016

Dear Madame Secretary,

CAN is delighted to welcome you as new UNFCCC Executive Secretary, and is encouraged by the wealth of knowledge and experience you bring to this position. As you know, it is a crucial time for action on climate change. With the diplomatic success of the Paris Agreement behind us, we are now moving to implementation at the international and national levels. We see your role not just as the UNFCCC Executive Secretary but as a champion for the issue, ensuring synergy in climate action across different UN agencies as well as reaching further and beyond  to constituencies who are yet to engage with the issue of climate change and who are important to finding solutions.

CAN would like to highlight a few key issues that we as a network feel are important for a successful and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Urgency of action: CAN has been advocating for a 1.5°C threshold for a long time and was amongst the first to call for a global goal in the Paris Agreement to phase out fossil fuel emissions and phase in 100% renewable energy as early as possible, but no later than 2050. Countries have now submitted their INDCs but according to the synthesis report by the UNFCCC Secretariat they are not sufficiently ambitious, and will consume the entire 1.5°C carbon budget by 2025. CAN is very concerned by the lack of ambition exhibited by countries around the urgency of action that is required if we are to ensure that we stay within the 1.5ºC threshold. CAN thus asks that you play a central role in ensuring that we overcome the current complacency about closing that gap in earnest and encourage all countries to increase ambition of their national actions and their efforts to scale-up support to countries who require it.

The success of the Paris Agreement is not in implementing technical and procedural provisions, but hinges on the ambition exhibited  by  countries, their consistency with the 1.5°C limit, and the transformative change this ambition catalyses within countries. Merely  signing  an agreement is not enough, we need countries to increase ambition exponentially if we are to meet the agreed objectives of the Paris Agreement. We believe both the technical examinations of mitigation and adaptation opportunities under the UNFCCC and the interplay between states and non-state actors in the Global Climate Action Agenda can contribute to near term action (pre 2020) on the ground, granted that the resulting initiatives are environmentally sound and additional. CAN encourages you to engage in these processes, with the High-Level Champions, to make sure they get the proper attention and have the necessary support from the UNFCCC secretariat.

Facilitative Dialogues in 2016 and 2018 and Global Stocktake in 2023: In the Paris Agreement there are three key decisions taken to ensure longevity of action and enhanced ambition across all elements of the agreement. CAN believes these to be among the most important institutional elements of the Paris Agreement, that will enable ambition to be scaled up over time and help in identifying the gaps that need to be closed to achieve accelerated implementation. CAN believes that necessary attention needs to be paid to ensuring the success of these facilitative dialogues and to designing the modalities for the global stocktake alongside rapid increase of ambition in the short term from countries. For CAN, the core objectives of these moments are to enhance political momentum and increase ambition. We believe that the choreography for these moments needs to be designed far ahead of time to ensure success. Your role in designing this choreography will be key. CAN would be measuring the success of these facilitated dialogues from the perspective of additional gigaton reductions carried out by countries as a result of these facilitated dialogues.

Enhanced Civil Society Participation & Engagement: Civil society plays a pivotal role at the national and international level on design and implementation of effective climate policies. We as CAN would like to highlight our concerns around shrinking civil society space at the international level particularly within UNFCCC. It is unacceptable that for the last  few years, UNFCCC has increased the number of closed meetings in informal negotiation settings. UNFCCC is moving away from the historic good practice of negotiating sessions being open to civil society. We would urge you to take up this matter and ensure that UNFCCC adheres to the principles enshrined in the Aarhus Convention. Civil Society will play a key role in getting countries to revise their inadequate NDCs and will be crucial for creating the necessary public momentum for increased political will around key moments like 2018 facilitative dialogue. The successful implementation of the Paris Agreement is directly proportional to the space provided for civil society participation and engagement.

CAN is looking forward to working with you and building this next phase of the global climate regime. We request a face to face meeting with you around the sidelines of Climate Week in New York to introduce the network and its members to you. We are confident of building a strong and fruitful working relationship with you and again congratulate you on your new and challenging role.


Climate Action Network International Co-Chairs of the Board - Safa’ Al Jayoussi and Mohamed Adow

Climate Action Network-International - Wael Hmaidan, Director -

CAN Arab World - Said Chakri, Co-Coordinator -

CAN Canada / Réseau action climat Canada - Catherine Abreu, Executive Director -

CAN Eastern Africa - Geoffrey Kamese, Coordinator -

CAN Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia - Nastassia Bekish & Irina Stavchuk, Co-Coordinator - -

CAN Europe - Wendel Trio, Director -

CAN Japan - Kimiko Hirata, Coordinator -

CAN Latin America - Alejandro Aleman Treminio, Coordinator -

CAN South Asia - Sanjay Vashist, Director -

CAN Southeast Asia - Fabby Tumiwa, Coordinator -

CAN Western and Central Africa - Aïssatou Diouf, Coordinator -

China Civil Climate Action Network - Wang Xiangyi, Coordinator -

New Zealand CAN - David Tong, Node Coordinator -

Pacific Islands CAN - Krishneil Narayan, Coordinator -

Southern African Region CAN - Rajen Awotar, Coordinator -

US Climate Action Network - Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director -




CAN Briefing Paper: Achieving an ambitious outcome on HFC phasedown under the Montreal Protocol in 2016, June 2016

~~2015 was a momentous year for multilateralism and for climate change policy making. Governments must now show strong ownership of the Paris Agreement by aligning policies, resources, institutions and legislation in support of the Paris Agreement.

An agreement by Parties to an HFC phasedown in 2016 during the October Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol would represent a major and critical step in achieving the 1.5ºC temperature goal agreed to in Paris.
A HFC phasedown would prevent 100 billion tons of CO2-e by 2050, and avoided warming of up to 0.5ºC by the end of the century; coupled with co-benefits in energy efficiency improvements for air conditioning, total mitigation could reach up to 200 billion tons of CO2-e by 2050.

Many governments have already included actions to phase down HFCs within their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) under the Paris Agreement. CAN encourages other parties in the position to do so, to include national HFC phase down in their NDCs. This could be done during the time of revision of the INDCs particularly around the 2018 facilitative dialogue.
As with the previous and ongoing chemical phase-outs under the Montreal Protocol (CFCs and HCFCs respectively), developed nations will need to take the lead on an immediate and ambitious phase out schedule and provide enough funding to developing nations for a near-term freeze and rapid national transitions to appropriate environmentally friendly alternative compounds and technologies.


CAN Intervention - Closing Bonn APA - 26th May, 2016

Thank you, Madame Co-Chair.

My name is Masako Konishi, and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

In the afterglow of Paris, it is now time to increase pre-2020 action and support. The 2016 facilitative dialogue, the high-level finance event, the capacity building work program, and the high-level champions are important opportunities we need to use to ramp-up ambition.

Marrakech should also set a clear plan to finalise the transparency framework as a priority so that this will contribute to a more effective 2018 facilitative dialogue and inform updates of INDCs. Parties must agree on how flexibility will be applied in a common framework, and how convergence will ultimately occur. 

COP 22 should also set the path for the 2018 stocktake to result in a global ramping up of currently inadequate efforts to put the world on a 1.5ºC pathway. The modalities for the global stocktake should be prepared as as soon as possible.

Finally, by COP 22, developed countries must present a credible, transparent roadmap towards meeting their 100 billion dollars a year promise, including a specific target for adaptation finance.

Thank you.



CAN Intervention - Closing Bonn SBI - 26th May, 2016

~~Thank you Co-Chairs.

I am Vositha Wijenayake, speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

We welcome the constructive recommendations from the gender workshop and look forward to an extension of the Lima Work Programme in Marrakesh based on these recommendations.

We are encouraged by the adoption of the terms of reference of the Paris Committee on Capacity Building. The finalisation of the third comprehensive review at COP 22 would provide clear guidance to the Paris Committee.

We believe that the conclusions adopted in Bonn in relation to access to information, public participation and stakeholder engagement provide a basis for a stronger partnership between civil society and governments. CAN welcomes the conclusions concerning the in-session workshop on observer participation at SB46.

We also look forward to considering practical solutions to ensure that the negotiating process is safeguarded from those whose interest runs against the objectives of the Convention, such as transnational fossil fuel corporations.

Finally,we urge parties to begin a structured expert dialogue (SED) from 2018 to 2022 to support the review and to ensure scientific integrity through a focused exchange of views, information and ideas. The SED should be mandated to draw first conclusions of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5ºC to inform the facilitative dialogue in 2018.

Thank you.


CAN Intervention - Closing Bonn SBSTA - 26th May, 2016

Thank you Mr Co-Chair and distinguished delegates.

My name is Eddy Perez and I am speaking on behalf of Climate Action Network.

The work of SBSTA is critical to moving forward the goals of the Paris Agreement.  Submissions in advance of Marrakech could begin a meaningful dialogue that will lead to productive results in Marrakech.

In the lead up to COP 22, CAN calls on governments to make sure that the momentum to implement the Paris Agreement is maintained by progress in limiting emissions from international transport.

Countries must agree to a strong global market-based measure for mitigating  aviation emissions within ICAO at the 39th Assembly in October that contributes a fair share effort towards meeting the 1.5ºC goal.

For international shipping emissions, the IMO must start a work program on the proposal to define a fair contribution of the international shipping sector to the Paris climate objectives.

On technology, we recognize the cooperative efforts of parties to develop the technology framework.

In developing the modalities for the accounting of financial resources, Parties must come to agreement about what counts as climate finance.

This should include an internationally agreed definition of ‘new and additional’. A clear definition of the information to be supplied for each financing project must also be developed, building upon the IATI (International Aid Transparency Initiative standard).


Thank you.



Experts react as UN climate negotiations close

May 26, Bonn, Germany - Expert observers from Climate Action Network have responded to two weeks of UN climate negotiations as they draw to a close today. Civil society reflected on progress during the session and also on what needs to happen over the coming months, ahead of COP 22 in Marrakesh this November, to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement and boost short-term climate action.

“As Donald Trump takes evasive action to insure his golf course against climate impacts, governments and businesses, with far more at stake than the 18th green, are putting in the hard yards to accelerate the drive for 100% renewable energy, to build prosperous economies for the future.” said Wael Hmaidan, Director at Climate Action Network International

"In Bonn the countries have discussed the need for entry into force in a rapid manner. It is necessary that Parties take action back home to ensure that ratification happens swiftly, and in a manner that facilitates increase of ambition and with rules developed to ensure transparency and accountability of climate actions." said Vositha Wijenayake, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for Climate Action Network South Asia

"The first week of negotiations post-Paris began with fits and starts. However, Parties managed to agree on an APA agenda and the hope leaving Bonn remains that COP 22 will be the Action COP. However,  because of the inadequacy of ambition in current INDCs, Marrakesh needs to make sure that the path is set for the facilitative dialogue in 2018 in order to ramp up ambition to limit global warming to 1.5°C." said Tina Johnson, Policy Director at US Climate Action Network

"After a slow start, the climate negotiations in Bonn picked up pace this week, and the path to a successful climate summit in Marrakesh this November is clearer than it was two weeks ago.  But there is much work ahead if we are to get the meaningful actions that are needed to start to close the substantial gap between the national commitments now on the table and the much greater level of ambition needed to give us a fighting chance of meeting the temperature limitation goals in the Paris Agreement.  We also need to ramp up support for efforts to help vulnerable countries deal with the mounting impacts of climate change that are ever more evident all over the world.  On both of these fronts, leaders, ministers, and negotiators alike need to summon the political will to back up their strong words in Paris with real action in Marrakesh." said Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy at Union of Concerned Scientists

"There has been painfully slow progress on key issues at the SB44 session in Bonn making it necessary to hold more meetings before the next Conference of Parties in Morocco. Raising adequate climate finance and carving out necessary rules and modalities to bring the Paris agreement into force must be the highest priority for all negotiators from now to November." said Sanjay Vashist, Director Climate Action Network South Asia

“The G7 Ise-Shima summit held in Japan is a great opportunity to maintain political momentum and accelerate negotiation on the Paris Agreement. However as the only G7 country to promote coal at home and the biggest coal financier internationally, Japan nearly fails to deliver strong message on climate. This looks likely to be remembered as the summit at which Japan missed the chance to capitalise on momentum for change and left it to China to lead the world on renewable energy.” said Kimiko Hirata, International Director at Kiko Network

“During the past two weeks in Bonn, we saw that the Paris spirit is still alive, but the implementation of the new climate deal remains a huge challenge. There has been some progress in helping vulnerable countries and people adapt to the  dangerous impacts of climate change, but more focus must be given to local gender-equitable adaptation plans and programmes. When countries meet at COP22 in Marrakesh, we expect to see a clearer roadmap for scaling up financial support for adaptation, and for addressing unavoidable loss and damage.” said Sven Harmeling, Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, CARE International

“Marrakesh needs to be seen as the Renewables COP.  It offers an enormous opportunity to shift the conversation from grand political rhetoric to the implementation of short-term concrete actions which will keep the agreed temperature goals of 1.5°C and 2°C within reach. In Marrakesh countries must support the urgent need for more renewable energy in developing countries. There are exciting enterprises like the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative and the Solar Alliance which were launched in Paris and are building on the global need for renewable energy.” said Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor at Christian Aid

“When countries next meet at COP22 in Marrakech, they need to make serious headway on the rules of the new climate regime and give the necessary teeth to the Paris Agreement. But above all, Marrakech needs to be all about action. Last year’s summit in Paris saw several promising renewable energy initiatives launched and today leaders from three developing country groups, representing over 90 countries, made a strong call for global action on renewable energy in Marrakesh,” said Jens Mattias Clausen, Senior Climate Change Adviser at Greenpeace Nordic.

“This year average global temperatures were more than 1°C higher than before the industrial era – and we have had 7 straight months of record breaking global heat with widespread climate change impacts. As temperatures soar, vulnerable people and ecosystems will have to adapt more drastically and rapidly, but they will also face impacts that go beyond the potential for adaptation. That's why negotiators need to urgently resolve the issue of adaptation and loss and damage to ensure that the necessary support will be delivered to help those that are least responsible but facing the worst consequences.” said Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Global Adaptation Expert for WWF International

“Millions of the world’s most vulnerable people are already facing the disastrous impacts of climate change. Yet, adaptation has been short-changed. COP 22 needs to pick up the unfinished business from Paris. At COP 22, developed countries must present a roadmap to show how they will deliver their $100bn a year promise, and adaptation finance must me a core component of this roadmap.” said Armelle Le Comte, Advocacy Officer for Climate and Fossil Fuels at Oxfam France

“Countries’ agreement to a 1.5°C temperature goal at the Paris talks was a step forward but this week’s next round of talks did not see a realistic conversation about what emissions pathways should look like. It’s extremely dangerous to assume that technologies such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) can be used to commit to the 1.5°C target and solve the climate problem. We know that such proposed solutions require massive and unfeasible amounts of land that will compete with food in an already hungry world. If we are to stay under the 1.5°C goal we must be brave and address the elephant in the room – how we reduce our out of control consumption in a world with limitations." said Teresa Anderson, Climate Change Policy Officer at ActionAid


Contact: Tierney Smith, GCCA, email:, phone: +447545255955

About CAN: 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. More at: