Hydrofluorocarbons global warming: Another advance for climate change agreements

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Negotiators from more than 170 countries in Kigali on Saturday (October 15) reached a legally binding accord to cut the worldwide use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), an extremely potent greenhouse gas used in air-conditioners and refrigerators, by 2018, for developed countries and by 2024 for developing countries.

The Kigali deal, seven years in the making, is "much, much, much stronger than Paris" and is a mandatory agreement. It could prevent .5°C in temperature rise by 2100. US Secretary of State. John Kerry, in Kigali, said, "It is likely the single most important step we could take at this moment to limit the warming of our planet and limit the warming for generations to come." It adds momentum to the new global climate change agreements including the Paris agreement aiming to limit warming to 1.5°C which entered into legal force this month, and an agreement to curb planet-warming emissions from the aviation industry.

The final deal will divide the world economy into three tracks. The richest countries, including the United States and those in the European Union, will freeze the production and consumption of HFCs by 2018, reducing them to about 15 percent of 2012 levels by 2036. Much of the rest of the world, including China, Brazil and all of Africa, will freeze HFC use by 2024, reducing it to 20 percent of 2021 levels by 2045. A small group of the world's hottest countries, India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, will freeze HFC use by 2028 and reducing it to about 15 percent of 2025 levels by 2047.

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