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India and Saudi Arabia blamed for stalling progress on a global HFC phase-down deal

The Indian and Saudia Arabian governments have been blamed for throwing a spanner in the works of the move towards global HFC phase-down at the recent Warsaw climate talks

Environmental lobbyist the Environmental Investigation Agency said most countries came to Warsaw looking to take near term action on HFCs, but a decision that would have accelerated international cooperation under the Montreal Protocol on these chemicals was withdrawn at the last minute.

“Blocking action to phase out HFCs under the Protocol is a missed opportunity for near-term greenhouse gas mitigation - real action has been sacrificed for negotiating tactics.” said Danielle Gagne, HFC & Climate Policy Analyst with EIA, “Addressing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol would provide real results in the short term, with more than 2 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions avoided by 2020,”

The EIA said the overall climate talks highlighted a growing divide between poor developing countries that stand to lose the most from the lack of action on climate change, and countries that seem willing to hold up progress for tactical reasons.  Progress has also been thrown off course by a series of controversies, including host country Poland’s vigorous support for coal-based power and Australia and Japan announcing moves to dramatically scale back national policies to cut greenhouse gases.

“We’re appalled at the lack of concrete actions on the table”, said Natasha Hurley, Global Environment Campaigner with EIA, “A solution to the current deadlock hinges on countries’ ability to take concrete actions to address climate change now. Accelerating an agreement on a global phase-down of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol would help build trust and a sense that the global climate talks really can deliver.”

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