Nearly 200 countries have agreed to accelerate the elimination of chemicals that threaten the ozone and exacerbate global warming, the United Nations Environmental Program announced.
UNEP chief Achim Steiner hailed the agreement by governments to move forward bans on dangerous hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) as a “vital signal” in efforts to slow climate change and welcomed China’s willingness to back the deal.
“It is perhaps the most important breakthrough in an international environment negotiation process for at least five or six years,” Steiner said.
“Historic is an often over-used word but not in the case of this agreement made in Montreal. Governments had a golden opportunity to deal with the twin challenges of climate change and protecting the ozone layer and governments took it,” Steiner said.