3147107_sDUBAI: The world’s governments have agreed to start formal negotiations to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs.

At an extended preparatory meeting of the Montreal Protocol yesterday, Parties agreed a mandate for a contact group to begin deliberations at the 27th Meeting of the Parties this coming week in Dubai.

Four proposals to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs have been submitted to the meeting. In addition the United States, Canada and Mexico have submitted an information document to the meeting, proposing a two-step approach starting with a scaled back amendment agreement in 2015 with remaining items to be negotiated in 2016.

Clare Perry, senior campaigner for environmental group EIA said, “HFCs are the fastest growing group of greenhouse gases and international action is urgently needed. A phase-down agreement under the Montreal Protocol could avoid over 100 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions, with huge additional climate benefits expected through transitioning to energy efficient technologies.”

“By starting negotiations for an HFC phase-down at the Montreal Protocol, 197 countries have come together and demonstrated that multilateral action is possible with political will,” said Mark W Roberts EIA International Policy Advisor. “An amendment during next week’s Meeting of the Parties would be a much needed shot in the arm for climate action and a strong signal to the UNFCCC to adopt a robust agreement at COP 21 in Paris.”

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