The European Commission will provide EUR 3 million for early action to replace climate-warming gases in Latin America and the Caribbean. EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete made the announcement today in Kigali, Rwanda, where he is participating in crucial negotiations for a global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent greenhouse gases.
Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "Taking action on HFCs is a necessary step if we are serious about tackling this major source of greenhouse gas emissions. It is not only a cost-effective way to cut emissions, but will also lead to further gains in energy efficiency. For these reasons, I am delighted to announce funding for this new project today. It is essential that we help our partners in the developing world to seize the opportunities within their reach to protect the climate."
The project will promote the adoption of climate-friendly technologies to replace HFCs, which are mainly used in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. It will help fund training on handling alternative technologies, promote large-scale pilot projects and support measures to avoid emissions during and after use of equipment. The project will also support the development of national strategies to reduce the use of HFCs. The funding is provided under the European Commission's Foreign Policy Instrument. This is in addition to EUR 8 million the EU is already providing for similar projects in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
The meeting in Kigali aims to agree an ambitious global phase-down of HFCs. Countries have agreed that the best way to tackle these potent greenhouse gases is to bring them within the scope of the Montreal Protocol, which has been successful in eliminating ozone-depleting substances that were used in the same sectors.
HFCs are part of the family of fluorinated gases that replaced certain ozone depleting substances. While they 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. HFC emissions are rising strongly, in particular in developing countries.