Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister travels to Vienna for high-level meetings on greenhouse gas emission reduction

Montreal Protocol meetings will continue United Nations negotiations towards a global hydrofluorocarbons phase-down

OTTAWA, July 20, 2016 /CNW/ - For years, Canadians have demanded that their federal government work with international partners to protect the environment – and this government is heeding that request.

From July 21 to 23, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, will travel to Vienna, Austria to participate in international meetings aimed at negotiating a global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).  

Hydrofluorocarbons are a family of chemicals widely used as coolants in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. They are powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs) with global warming potential hundreds to thousands of times greater than that of carbon dioxide (CO2) – and HFCs are the fastest growing GHG in most of the world.

Reducing the use of HFCs will reduce the harmful effects of climate change such as intense rainfall that can contaminate water supplies and severe weather events such as thunderstorms and floods that can cause injury, economic hardship and mental distress on Canadians, no matter where we live.

The Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol will continue, and intensify, ongoing negotiations on amending the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs, a measure that Canada is championing, together with the United States, Mexico, and other countries. An HFC amendment would significantly advance the global fight against climate change.

The Government of Canada is committed to adopting this year an amendment committing the international community to phase down the use of HFCs as an important step towards achieving the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting warming below two degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

To ensure effective global implementation of an HFC phase-down, Canada has signalled its commitment to provide increased financial support to the Protocol's Multilateral Fund, to help developing nations adopt the amendment. The Multilateral Fund has been very successful over the past 25 years helping developing countries phase out substances controlled under the Protocol.

Minister McKenna will also attend a meeting of the High Level Assembly of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in Vienna. Minister McKenna will work with her Coalition counterparts to build support and contribute to the international momentum that is building towards the adoption of an amendment this year.


"The Montreal Protocol, like the Paris Agreement, shows the amazing things we can accomplish when countries work together on a common goal. Phasing down hydrofluorocarbons will help the world—and Canada—take a big step forward in dealing with one of the greatest threats of our time."
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • In November 2015, Parties to the Montreal Protocol took a step forward in agreeing to work toward an amendment in 2016.
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are considered the fastest growing greenhouse gas (GHG) in most of the world, increasing at a rate of 10 to15 percent per year.
  • While hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) currently account for 1-2 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, if left uncontrolled, they could account for as much as 10 percent of GHG emissions by 2050.

Associated links

U.S.-Canada Joint Statement on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Twitter page

Environment and Natural Resources in Canada's Facebook page


SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada

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)


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