Climate Action: The EU welcomes agreement on global phase-down of climate-warming gases

The European Union welcomes the agreement on Friday in Kigali, Rwanda, on a global phase-down of climate-warming hydrofluorocarbon gases (HFCs). These manmade substances, used mainly in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Friday’s agreement represents a significant step towards implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change, which will legally enter into force next month. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “This is a huge win for the climate. We have taken the first concrete step in delivering on the promises we made in Paris last December. The global phase-down we have agreed on Friday could knock off up to half a degree of warming by the end of the century.  I am proud of the role the European Union played in brokering this deal. We have shown through our own action on the hydrofluorocarbon gases that this is a fast and cost-effective way to reduce emissions.” The 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol have agreed to bring hydrofluorocarbon gases within the scope of the international treaty that has successfully phased out ozone-depleting substances used in the same sectors. The Kigali amendment requires developed and developing countries to gradually limit their consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbon gases, with developed countries moving first. The EU and its Member States have been long-time supporters of the global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbon gases. The EU has shown global leadership through its own action. The Commission’s proposal for ground-breaking legislation on fluorinated greenhouse gases was adopted in 2014 and demonstrates that the phase-down was feasible.