With a crucial Montreal Protocol meeting just around the corner, political pressure to come to an agreement on phasing down HFCs is mounting. Three important statements made yesterday (22 September) in New York add to the sense of expectation surrounding the meeting, which is to take place in Kigali in the second week of October.
'The New York Declaration of the Coalition to Secure an Ambitious HFC Amendment', saw more than 100 countries call for the Montreal Protocol to be ambitiously amended for a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phase-down. "Such an amendment is one of the most significant steps the world can take right now to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement," reads the Declaration.
Leaders gathered for the event, hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, pledged to provide additional $27 million in 2017 to the Multilateral Fund – provided that an ambitious amendment is agreed at the October meeting in Rwanda.
The second statement came from donor countries and philanthropic organisations who together have pledged more than $80 million to assist developing countries in reducing HFCs.
Building from the political momentum, the private sector – represented by over 500 companies including shecco America – released a statement asking world leaders for "an early first reduction step" for developed counties and a freeze date for developing countries "that is as early as practicable".
"The global HFC phase-down will be a clear opportunity for natural refrigerants to become the mainstream solution in both developed and developing countries. The Kigali deal should encourage the HVAC&R industry globally to develop innovative, future-proof and energy-efficient technologies," said Marc Chasserot, CEO of shecco america.
After the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which was signed on 22 April 2016, the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali could result in an HFC phase-down deal capable of reducing expected global warming by up to 0.5°C.
The three statements put a large amount of pressure on decision-makers attending the Kigali Meeting to come up with a proactive and ambitious plan. The strength of support across the political and business spectrum for an ambitious phase-down would appear to indicate that a far-reaching deal is likely.