President Promotes Fast Action on HFCs and Methane
President continues to champion HFC phase down under the Montreal Protocol
Washington DC - "The President's climate action plan includes a sophisticated blend of strategies that will produce climate benefits immediately, like the phase down of HFC coolants and reductions in methane emissions, and those that will produce results over the mid- to long-term, like the power plant regulations," said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development.
Fast action to reduce HFCs, methane and other short-lived climate pollutants can cut the rate of global warming by half over the next several decades and is essential for reducing near-term impacts, with continuing climate benefits through end of century.
At home, HFC coolants are Obama's biggest climate win after power plants. Phasing down HFCs at home can give the US nearly a quarter of the climate mitigation needed to meet its pledge to reduce emissions by 17% below 2005 by 2020.
Globally, phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol can avoid a half a degree Celsius in warming by the end of the century, a significant part of what is needed to stay below the 2 degree Celsius redline. To put the half degree Celsius into perspective, the damaging climate impacts the world is already suffering are from warming of about 0.8 Celsius above the pre-Industrial levels.
At the first ever summit between President Obama and President Xi earlier this month, the presidents agreed to work together to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. Secretary Kerry has since urged the Indian Prime Minister to join in this effort.
“The prominence that the President gave HFCs in his speech and his plan makes it clear that he will be continuing his personal diplomacy to ensure a swift victory under the Montreal Protocol,” said Zaelke.
The Montreal Protocol has phased out nearly 100 gases similar to HFCs over its 25 years of operation without any noticeable impact on the economy, and with major improvements in energy efficiency of the air conditioners, refrigerators, and other equipment using the coolants.
"Phasing down HFCs will be seamless, and won't even be noticed by the consumers,” said Zaelke.
Contact Info: Durwood Zaelke 202-498-2457, Zaelke@inece.org
Erin Tulley 1.202.338.1300, firstname.lastname@example.org