Global deal reached to limit green­house gases

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Nearly 200 na­tions have reached a deal, an­nounced Satur­day morn­ing af­ter all­night ne­go­ti­a­tions, to limit the use of green­house gases far more pow­er­ful than carbon diox­ide in a ma­jor ef­fort to fight cli­mate change.

The talks on hy­droflu­o­ro­car­bons, or HFCs, were called the first test of global will since the his­toric Paris Agree­ment to cut carbon emis­sions was reached last year. HFCs are de­scribed as the world’s fastest-grow­ing cli­mate pol­lu­tant and are used in air con­di­tion­ers and re­frig­er­a­tors. Ex­perts say cut­ting them is the fastest way to re­duce global warm­ing.

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, in a state­ment Satur­day, called the new deal “an am­bi­tious and far-reach­ing so­lu­tion to this loom­ing cri­sis.” The spokesman for U.N. Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon called it “crit­i­cally im­por­tant.”

The agree­ment, un­like the broader Paris one, is legally bind­ing. It caps and re­duces the use of HFCs in a grad­ual process be­gin­ning by 2019.

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