170 Nations Celebrate A Pledge to Eliminate Super Harmful Greenhouse Gas

170 Nations Celebrate A Pledge to Eliminate Super Harmful Greenhouse Gas

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On Saturday, representatives from 170 different countries celebrated an ambitious global pact to pare down on environmentally harmful chemicals known as HFCs.

HFCs – also known as hydrofluorocarbons – is a powerful kind of greenhouse emission found in air conditioning units and refrigerators that trap 1,000 times more heat than carbon dioxide. If left unchecked, global HFC emissions could grow to be equivalent to 19 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions in 2050.

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The deal that was solidified between the USA, China, India, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and all 28 countries in the European Union this week in Kigali, Rwanda, however, has initiated concrete deadlines and goals for the coming decades that will ensure swift and sure action against the climate changing refrigerants.

Though the Paris deal is considered the most comprehensive agreement against global warming, the outlines are less structured than those of the Kigali accord. As an amendment to the Montreal Protocol several years in the making, the deal could prevent up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century, making a major contribution to the Paris Agreement goal to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C.

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The pact also includes 500 international companies and sub-national governments that have pledged to eliminate HFCs as well.

In tandem with the declaration for an ambitious amendment, a group of donor countries and philanthropists announced their intent to provide $80 million in assistance to Article 5 countries to implement an amendment and improve energy efficiency.

A group of 16 donor countries – consisting of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and New Zealand – announced their intent to provide $27 million in 2017 to the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund to provide fast-start support for implementation if an ambitious amendment with a sufficient early freeze date is adopted this year. Such funding is one-time in nature and will not displace donor contributions going forward.

(WATCH the video below)

 

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