Representatives of 105 countries convened by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry September 22 signaled their commitment to prevent 0.5°C of global warming, by amending the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to ban climate-busting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
At the same time, a group of developed countries and philanthropists offered $80 million to help countries needing assistance to implement an HFC phaseout and boost their energy efficiency, the White House reported in a release.
In the days leading up to the meeting, analysts said an HFC ban would be the single most important climate milestone since the Paris Agreement. Final negotiations on the amendment will take place later this month, during a Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
“The agreement next month is critical to upholding the Paris Agreement’s ambition of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C,” writes Nehmat Kaur, India consultant with the Natural Resources Defense Council. “India, in particular, can take this singular opportunity to ensure long-lasting benefits for the country, including access to new technology and funding from the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund for making an early shift.”
“What if I told you the world could take one action this year that would shave off a half a degree Celsius of warming from our overheating planet?” adds NRDC International Director Jake Schmidt. “Would world leaders seize that opportunity and do everything in their power to leave their citizens a chance of a safer world with less devastating impacts from climate change?” In Kigali this month, “leaders have a chance.”
Kaur adds that “a strong agreement would be a major win for India and its effort to transition to more modern and environmentally friendly technology. With the future of our only planet on the line, India can play a crucial role in ensuring that all countries come together to fulfill their responsibility and protect the planet for generations to come.”