100 countries back HFCs phase down

100 countries back HFCs phase down

More than 100 countries yesterday backed an “early freeze date” on an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFC refrigerants.

The meeting in New York also saw $80m pledged from a group of donor countries and philanthropists to support article 5 countries, ie developing countries, in implementing an ambitious amendment and improve energy efficiency.

The New York Declaration of the Coalition to Secure an Ambitious HFC Amendment was signed by senior government officials representing over 100 governments. It calls for adopting an ambitious HFC phase-down amendment at next month’s Montreal Protocol meeting in Rwanda with an early freeze date for Article 5 countries, in addition to an early first reduction step for non-Article 5 countries.

The countries involved include the USA, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, all 28 EU countries, all 54 countries in Africa, and several island states. The announcement was also said to be backed by more than 500 companies and organisations and hundreds of sub-national governments.

In addition, 16 countries – USA, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and New Zealand – pledged an extra $27m to the Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund in 2017 to provide fast-start support for article 5 countries backing an early freeze date. A further $53m has been promised by a group of 19 philanthropic organisations and individuals.

The funding is designed to help article 5 countries offset any upfront costs associated with transitioning past HFCs. This includes developing programmes to track and reduce HFCs and helping consumers and businesses realise the net economic benefits from energy efficiency as they move to HFC alternatives.