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European Union paves way for global phase-down of HFCs

European Commission adopts proposal to ratify the Kigali Amendment

| | Feb 6, 2017 | 5:43 pm
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Brussels, Belgium: The European Commission has adopted a proposal for the European Union (EU) to ratify the amendment to the Montreal Protocol on a global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to tackle the rapid growth of emissions from potent greenhouse gases.

The proposal, an official communiqué on the commission’s website said, follows the agreement reached last October in Kigali, Rwanda, where the 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to gradually limit their production and use of HFCs. In developed countries, the first reductions are due in 2019, said the communiqué, with most developing countries freezing the level of HFC quantities in 2024, and a few countries in 2028.

For the Kigali Amendment to enter into force by 2019, the communiqué said that at least 20 Parties need to ratify it. It added that ratification by the EU countries alone could thus trigger the entry into force.

The commission highlighted that the implementation of the legally binding Kigali Amendment will make a significant contribution to the Paris Agreement objective of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius.

The EU, it further said, has already taken action to reduce HFCs and prepare for the global phase-down by adopting the EU Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases in 2014, which enables the EU and its member states to ratify rapidly.

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said, “Not only will this landmark deal help us meet our climate objectives, but it will also provide new opportunities for European manufacturers of air conditioning and refrigerants to access the global market, creating additional jobs and attracting new investment.”

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