October 12, 2016
As ministers begin to arrive in Kigali, Rwanda, for talks to amend the Montreal Protocol and agree to tackle the use of climate warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Christian Aid urged them to accelerate negotiations of an early phase down date.
Benson Ireri, Christian Aid’s Senior Policy Officer for Africa, said: “It’s fitting that ministers will be arriving here at the summit in the coming days because it is their governments’ credibility that will be on the line if we don’t get a strong outcome.
“In the Paris Agreement, national leaders promised to keep global warming to a level well below 2 degrees centigrade and to try their hardest to limit it to 1.5 degrees. However, those promises will ring hollow if we don’t get an early date for the global phase down of HFCs. These chemicals are thousands of times more potent than CO₂ as a greenhouse gas and are increasing in use by 10-15% a year.
“Vulnerable countries do not have time to wait, the climate is changing fast and phasing down HFCs is something which we absolutely must do if we’re going to honour the pledges of the Paris Agreement. It would be an embarrassing start if the Agreement came into force next month and countries had failed their first test by delivering a feeble deal on HFCs.
“It’s time for ministers to step on the gas and ensure phase down dates in the early 2020s.”