Global Deal to Slash Powerful Greenhouse Gases May Go Even Further

Negotiators who struck a global deal over the weekend to taper down the use of hydrofluorocarbons, super-polluting greenhouse gases, say they plan to revisit the issue as more control technologies become available, reports Dean Scott.    

Hydrofluorocarbons are used in refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosols, building insulation and fire extinguishing systems, according to the EPA.


So under this adopted amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the U.S. and other industrialized nations in 2019 will start to cut down hydrofluorocarbon use and continue until 2036. By then, the developed nations are to achieve an 85 percent cut from 2011–2013 production and consumption levels, Dean reports.

Developing nations have more time to take action, with some starting in 2024. You can read more in his story, Deal Cutting Refrigerant Climate Gases Can Be Strengthened.

air conditioners unpacking

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy had an interesting way to describe hydrofluorocarbons in her blog post about the Oct. 15 deal.

“These greenhouse gases can have warming impacts hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. In a nutshell, these HFCs cool our homes and chill our food, but they are turning up the temperature of our planet,” she wrote.

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