Statement on the Montreal Protocol Negotiations in Vienna, Austria
WASHINGTON-Today, countries across the world took critical steps toward their goal under the Dubai Pathway to Amend the Montreal Protocol in 2016 to reduce production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This single step could avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100. Key outcomes included agreement on solutions to all the identified challenges, substantial simplification of the range of baseline proposals, agreement to hold an intersessional meeting to drive towards closure this year, a tasking to the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel to provide information on the climate benefits and costs of the range of amendment proposals, and a request that the secretariat prepare a consolidated text reflecting all the progress from the week.
Reflecting the Administration’s commitment to securing an ambitious amendment in 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Ambassador Jennifer Haverkamp led the delegation and succeeded in laying the ground work for adoption of an ambitious HFC amendment at the 28th Meeting of the Parties in Kigali, Rwanda this October. Since an HFC amendment is the single biggest step the world can take to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement to hold warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, the Administration will remain committed to working with all Parties to complete these negotiations in Kigali.
The Montreal Protocol is viewed as the most successful international environmental treaty. It has resulted in a 97% reduction in the production and import of ozone depleting substances, which scientists predict will heal the ozone layer by 2050. HFCs were originally one of the substances that the world shifted toward when ozone depleting substances were phased out. Over the last decade, the global community has learned that, while these substances have been effective in protecting the ozone layer, the shift to consumption of HFCs does increase the use of potent greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate system.
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