“Reaching agreement on this decision by the parties will pave the way to help all countries transition to alternatives and away from HFCs,” McCarthy said. “It is a significant accomplishment for climate action on the road to the Paris Climate Conference later this month and sends a strong signal that the international community can come together to confront some of the world's greatest environmental challenges and continue progress toward cutting global greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Montreal Protocol is a universally ratified environmental treaty that has resulted in a 97 percent reduction in production and import of ozone depleting substances since its ratification in the 1980s. Those substances were replaced, in some cases, with HFCs, which at first seemed like a viable alternative.
“The decision charts a course for additional high-level dialogue to reach consensus on setting a timeframe for freezing and ultimately phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs,” McCarthy said. “Over the last decade, the global community has learned that, while these substances have been effective in protecting the ozone layer, the shift to production and consumption of HFCs does increase the use of potent greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate system.”