Global deal reached to cut green­house gases

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

KIGALI: Climate change ne­go­tia­tors from more than 170 na­tions agreed on Satur­day to be­gin lim­it­ing heat-trap­ping green­house gases known as HFCs, of­ten used in air con­di­tion­ers and re­frig­er­a­tors.

The legally bind­ing ac­cord, agreed upon in the Rwan­dan cap­i­tal Kigali, was cel­e­brated as the big­gest en­vi­ron­men­tal suc­cess since last year’s Paris climate deal, which aims to limit the global tem­per­a­ture rise to 2°C.

US sec­re­tary of state John Kerry, who par­tic­i­pated in the talks, called it “a huge step for­ward”, which would “al­low us to re­duce global warm­ing by 0.5°C”.

Hy­drochlo­roflu­o­ro­car­bons (HFCs) have been used for years as a sub­sti­tute for chlo­roflu­o­ro­car­bons (CFCs), which were once found in aerosol spray cans as well as in­su­la­tion and pack­ing ma­te­ri­als.

CFCs were a pri­mary cause of the hole in Earth’s ozone and were even­tu­ally banned un­der the 1987 Mon­treal Pro­to­col.

Ne­go­tia­tors meet­ing in Kigali agreed Satur­day to an amend­ment to the Mon­treal Pro­to­col that would also curb the use of HFCs, which have a lim­ited im­pact on the ozone but are a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to global warm­ing.

“We’ve moved from Paris pledges to con­crete ac­tion,” said Dur­wood Zaelke, pres­i­dent of in­ter­na­tional re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion In­sti­tute for Gover­nance and Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment.

De­vel­oped coun­tries pledged to make first HFC cuts by 2019 and pro­vide ad­di­tional money through the Mon­treal Pro­to­col’s Mul­ti­lat­eral Fund to help im­ple­ment the new ac­cord. – dpa

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