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'Monumental' deal agreed for Global HFC Phasedown

Agreement under Montreal Protocol which will see HFC reduction starting from 2019, with developing countries starting in 2024

The 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol, meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, have struck a global agreement which willl see HFC consumption and production phased down from 2019.

The president of the Meeting of Parties, Vincent Biruta, described the agreement as ’the most significant climate mitigation step the world has ever taken.’

US Secretary of State John Kerry, in Kigali to underline the commitment of the US to the deal, told the BBC:

“It’s a monumental step forward, that addresses the needs of individual nations but it will give us the opportunity to reduce the warming of the planet by an entire half a degree centigrade.”

The three tier agreement, which follows eight years of negotiations. is estimated to avoid more than 70 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent HFC emissions, according to lobby group the Environmental Invesigation Agency.

The Kigali amendment will cap and phase down HFC consumption starting 2019, with most developing countries, including China, by far the largest HFC consumer and producer, freezing their HFC consumption in 2024. A second schedule has been agreed for a small number of countries including India, Kuwait, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The deal was welcomed by the EU, which has led the action on HFC phasedown, via the F-Gas Regulation.

EU 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 phasedown we have agreed today 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 HFCs that this is a fast and cost-effective way to reduce emissions.”

An EU spokesman said: ”The EU and its Member States have been long-time supporters of proposals for the global phase-down of HFCs. The European Union has shown global leadership through its own action. The EU’s ground breaking legislation on fluorinated greenhouse gases adopted in 2014 demonstrated that an HFC phase-down was feasible. This set an EU-wide cap on consumption of HFCs in 2015, and a first reduction step this year.”

The European Commission announced this week that it would provide €3 million for early action on HFCs in Latin American and Caribbean countries. This is on top of €8 million the Commission is already providing for similar projects in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. EU Member States currently provide approximately half of the total funding in the Multilateral Fund which helps developing countries comply with their obligations to protect the ozone layer under the Montreal Protocol.

The Agreement (courtesy EIA)

 Non-A5 (developed countries)A5 (developing countries) – Group 1A5 (developing countries) – Group 2

Baseline

– HFC component

2011-2013

Average HFC consumption

2020-2022

Average HFC consumption

2024-2026

Average HFC consumption

Baseline

– HCFC component

15% of baseline

65% of baseline

65% of baseline

Freeze

-

2024

2028

1st step

2019 – 10%

2029 – 10%

2032 – 10%

2nd step

2024 – 45%

2035 – 30%

2037 – 20%

3rd step

2029 – 70%

2040 – 50%

2042 – 30%

4th step

2034 – 80%

   

Plateau

2036 – 85%

2045 – 85%

2047 – 85%

Notes

Belarus, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, 25% HCFC component and 1st two steps are later: 5% in 2020, 35% in 2025

Article 5 countries not part of Group 2

GCC, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan

Other agreeements covered:

Standards. Parties are expected to work towards ensuring global industry standards enable the safe introduction of low-GWP alternatives to HFCs.

Energy Efficiency. Parties are expected to agree a way forward to maximise energy efficiency in the transition out of HFCs.

Technology review. Review in 2022 and every five years subsequently. Additional technology review 4-5 years before 2028 to consider the compliance deferral of 2 years from the freeze of 2028 in A5 Group 2 to address growth in relevant sectors above certain threshold.

Clare Perry, EIA UK Climate Campaign Leader said: “Compromises had to be made but 85 per cent of developing countries have committed to the early schedule starting 2024, which is a very significant achievement.”

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