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Over twenty nations announce Kigali Amendment ratification

Agreement targeting global reduction in HFC use will now come into effect on January 1, 2019 after Canada joins almost two dozen other nations in backing targets

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal protocol will come into effect on January 1, 2019 after twenty countries agreed to ratify the legislation the new targets for cutting use of HFCs globally.

Canada announced this week that it had joined a host of other countries such as the UK in backing the agreement as part of a wider global push to promote clean growth solutions.

“The Kigali Amendment is a global agreement to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a type of greenhouse gas that warms the planet even more quickly than carbon dioxide,” said the Canadian government in a statement.

“Implementing the Kigali Amendment could avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.”

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of environment and climate change, praised the ratification as a big step forward to tackling greenhouse gas use for purposes such as cooling.

“I’m very proud that Canada is among the leaders in ratifying this amendment, and I congratulate the other 20 countries whose hard work made this happen,” she said,

The Montreal Protocol was finalised in 1987 as a global commitment to phase out use of ozone depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

The amendment approved in Kigali to expand this focus to HFC use will initially involve developed nations. Developing countries will become party to the commitments from 2024.

The UK claimed earlier this month that it was one of the first countries to back the amendment which was devised in 2015 with the aim to reduce global HFC use by 85 per cent between 2019 and 2036.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said at the time that the UK was already in the process of cutting reliance on HFCs by 79 per cent as part of a 15-year strategy outlined in the EU’s F-Gas regulations. The legislation came into effect in 2015 to curb use of a number of fluorinated greenhouse gases across the bloc.

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