Climate Action

Montreal Protocol negotiations to phase-down climate warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) enter crunch time

Montreal Protocol negotiations to phase-down climate warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) enter crunch time

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete will be in Vienna on 21-22 July to take part in negotiations on amending the Montreal Protocol to achieve a global reduction in the use of climate warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs ). An HFC phase-down would be a concrete step towards implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In 2015 in Dubai all Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to work towards an HFC amendment in 2016. The outcome of the Vienna negotiations will be decisive for the prospects of achieving this.

On 21 July, in the margins of the negotiations , the Commissioner will take part in the High-Level Assembly held by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). The aim is to secure an ambitious HFC amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the meeting  of the parties in Kigali, Rwanda, in October.

On 22 July the Commissioner will participate in a Ministerial Roundtable Discussion at the opening of the Third Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. He will also meet with members of the High Ambition Coalition, the alliance of developed and developing countries that helped shape the successful outcome in Paris. In the margins the Commissioner will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

HFCs are part of the family of fluorinated gases that have replaced certain ozone depleting substances used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. This follows the successful efforts of the Montreal Protocol – the international agreement designed to reduce the production and consumption of gases damaging the Earth's ozone layer. While HFCs do not damage the ozone layer, they are potent greenhouse gases, with a global warming effect up to 15 000 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO₂), and their emissions are rising strongly.

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