Countries Limit Global Warming through Landmark Deal

By Czarina Ara Lasco

Oct 17, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Battling over HFCs - hydrofluorocarbons, it could prevent a 0.5°C (0.9°F) rise in temperature by 2100. Achieving that statistics, our scientists said it will be a great help and crucial to the objective in last year's Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature rise below 2°C (3.6°F) by 2100.

Most of the global HFC emissions came from air conditioners and refrigerators. They are fewer than the significant contributors to climate change in our atmosphere than the collective emissions of carbon dioxide and methane. However, HFCs are a thousand times more powerful than carbon dioxide on a pound for pound basis. That makes them an evident target for international efforts against climate change.

Secretary of State John Kerry said, "Adopting an ambitious amendment to phase down the use and production of hydrofluorocarbons-or HFCs-is likely the single most important step that we could take at this moment to limit the warming of our planet," in remarks before the passage of the agreement."

The agreement also includes an amendment to the 1989 Montreal Protocol - an agreement to protect the ozone layer requiring counties to ban chlorofluorocarbon or CFC from use in refrigerators, air conditioners and other uses because it depleted the ozone layer. Most manufacturers replaced CFC with HFCs that leads to a problem that we are facing now.

Constituents of the agreement will now have three schedules to crown and then reduce their use of HFCs. Developed countries will need to freeze their HFC production and use in 2019 and followed by an abrupt reductions. Developing countries with China, Brazil and more than 100 more, agreed to peak their HFC use in 2024 while other developing countries in 2028. The last group with many countries like India, Pakistan and the Gulf States are given more time to follow the agreement because air-conditioning is an integral part of their living due to sweltering heat.

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