VIENNA, Austria, July 24, 2016 /CNW/ - Canada is taking action on climate change at home and abroad. Environment and Climate Change Minister, Catherine McKenna, today wrapped up a series of UN meetings in Vienna, where Canada pushed for international action to phase down climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as quickly as possible. HFCs are chemicals widely used as coolants in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. They are also powerful greenhouse gases, with a global warming potential hundreds to thousands times more potent than CO2.
Phasing down the use of HFCs will reduce the harmful effects of climate change by cutting global emissions by 2050 by an amount corresponding to 1 billion cars off the road a year for 15 years.
The Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol and the High Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition were chaired by Canada. During these meetings, Canada played a leadership role in working with 150 countries to address the remaining challenges in negotiating a phase-down of HFCs, including how developed countries—such as Canada and the United States—can best assist developing countries in implementing an HFC phase-down.
The progress made in Vienna will help inform the next steps in finalizing an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to globally phase down HFCs. Canada is committed to building on the long‑term success of the Montreal Protocol by adopting this amendment during the October Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Rwanda.
Canada is also actively addressing HFCs here at home. So far in 2016, we have finalized measures to increase the recovery, recycling and destruction of HFCs in refrigeration and air‑conditioning equipment. We have established a regulatory permitting and reporting process for HFCs and we are developing measures to phase down HFCs and ban a variety of products that contain HFCs.
"Canada played a key role in helping the international community achieve the Montreal Protocol in 1987. I'm proud of Canada's leadership in Vienna working towards the adoption of an HFC phase-down amendment under the Protocol. I'm confident that the progress we made in Vienna will soon lead to a global consensus to phase down HFCs. An ambitious HFC amendment would greatly help fulfill the goals of the recent Paris Agreement and would put humanity one great step forward in the fight on climate change."
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- HFCs are commonly used in refrigeration, cooling, foam insulations, and fire suppression systems.
- HFCs do not deplete the ozone layer but are powerful greenhouse gases with global warming potential hundreds to thousands of times greater than that of carbon dioxide.
- HFCs are considered the fastest-growing GHG in most of the world, increasing at a rate of 10 to15% per year.
- While HFCs currently account for 1-2% of global GHG emissions, if left uncontrolled, they could account for as much as 10% of such emissions by 2050.
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For further information: Caitlin Workman, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9436; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)