UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of the critically important amendment to cut production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), at a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. The amendment was agreed upon to the Montreal Protocol phasing-down production and use of HFCs, which are powerful, short-lived greenhouse gases that contributes to climate change, the UN chief said in a statement on Saturday.
“As HFCs are also the fastest-growing of all greenhouse gases, curbing their use will help limit near-term warming of the planet, ” Xinhua news agency quoted the statement. At the Kigali meeting on Saturday, nearly 200 nations approved a timetable to stop the use of gases whose elimination could reduce global warming by 0.5 degrees celsius by the end of the century.
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HFCs, used in refrigerators and air conditioners, were introduced in the 1990s to replace chemicals that had been found to erode the ozone layer, but turned out to be catastrophic. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol builds on the strong global momentum for multilateral efforts to address climate change, including the landmark Paris Agreement, which will enter into force on November 4, the statement said.
Adoption of the amendment on HFCs will provide considerable benefits in the coming decades and help advance the Sustainable Development Goals, it added. The global phase-down of HFCs would provide a major boost for efforts to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius as stated in the Paris Agreement and to pursue efforts toward 1.5 degrees.
Ban called for continued collaboration and cooperation by all sectors of society in implementing these timely and much-needed agreements to reduce the risks of climate change.