Today became a historic day for the environment. After 7 years of negotiations, more than 170 nations have settled on a plan to cut the use of hydrofluorocarbons (or HFCs), a refrigerant that causes warming in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is named “Kigali Amendment”. Named after the location in Rwanda where the negotiations took place. It is an expand of the Montreal Protocol reached in 1987. The Montreal Protocol deal was to limit the use of ozone-depleting chemicals and now HFC’s are added. This agreement will be respected as a treaty and it will not need to wait for ratification like the Paris Agreement.
2019 to 2028
By 2019 countries like the United States and China will slowly reduce the use of HFC’s and 100 other countries will do the same by 2024. Then followed by other countries including India and Pakistan in 2028. Natural Resources Defense Council estimated that this treaty will help avoid “early 90 percent of the temperature increase that HFCs could have caused.” Director of NRDC David Doniger said, “the group’s estimates show this agreement will avoid the equivalent of more than 80 billion tons of CO₂ over the next 35 years.”
HFCs were introduced in the 80s as a replacement for those ozone-depleting chemicals but they helped global warming more than carbon dioxide. They’re used in refrigerators, air conditioners, insulating foams, inhalers, and other applications, and will be replaced by more climate-friendly chemicals.