As talks marking the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol enter their final hours, Christian Aid says that rich countries must commit financial support to replenish the multilateral fund to help poor nations successfully phaseout HFC super pollutants as quickly as possible.
These man-made greenhouse gasses are used in air conditioners and refrigerators around the world and have greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide.
If efforts to tackle climate change enshrined in the Paris Agreement are to be delivered then replacing HFC based technology with alternatives is vital, to curb an already rising demand in such appliances.
Christian Aid’s Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, Gaby Drinkwater, said: “One of the major issues at this year’s meeting is the replenishment of the crucial multilateral fund which is a key tool in unlocking major progress in tackling climate change and buys us time to deliver on the Paris goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.
“Developing nations are where the demand growth in air conditioning systems will come from as the planet gets hotter. No one wants to see this demand creating a vicious cycle of rising greenhouse gas emissions. In order to phase these out rapidly the multilateral fund needs to be filled so that it can do its job of helping poor nations make the switch to new appliances that both don’t have HFCs and are also more energy efficient.
“With lack of financial support one of the notable disappointments from the UN climate summit in Bonn last week, rich countries are in danger of repeating the pattern here in Montreal.”
As Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme stated: “There is no limit to what we humans can achieve as long as we do it together.
“Together we can achieve everything that is important to the planet. Divided we can achieve nothing.”
Ms Drinkwater added that this was why it was important that universal ratification of the phaseout agreement struck last year in Kigali, Rwanda, happened soon.
She said: “It’s been great to see the minimum threshold of 20 countries ratify the Kigali Amendment which means it will come in to force on January 1, 2019.
“However universal ratification by all nations is needed to send a strong signal to manufacturers and markets that the use of outdated and polluting HFC technology is being left behind. This will trigger new investment and research from industry, further improving the energy efficiency of cooling appliances that will be big business as temperatures rise.”
For more information, Christian Aid’s briefing paper on the summit and the benefits of the HFC phasedown can be found here: www.christianaid.org.uk/resources/about-us/maximising-benefits-global-phase-down-hydrofluorocarbons