Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

White House and Industry Announce Emission Reduction Collaboration on Anniversary of Montreal Protocol

Washington, DC, 16 September, 2014 – In an event hosted by the White House today, a group of industry leaders made pledges to protect the environment by reducing emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful greenhouse gases that are up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide and helping to drive climate change. Participants including Coca Cola, Dupont, Honeywell, Thermal King and Unilever revealed their partnership with the Administration to invest in the next generation of safer HFC alternatives and to incorporate climate-friendly technologies into their products as a part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

Today also marks 27 years of the Montreal Protocol, deemed “International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer” by the United Nations Environment Programme, this year’s theme is entitled “Ozone Layer Protection: The Mission Goes On.”

“While the Montreal Protocol has achieved great success providing climate protection thus far, finishing the HFC amendment will avoid the equivalent of between 100 and 200 billion tons of CO2 by 2050, and avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century,” says Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) liaison to the Department of Defense (DOD) for climate and ozone, and former co-chair of the Technology & Economic Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol. “This is another important step by the White House in their effort to capture the biggest climate prize in near term by the phasing down of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol, a strategy now supported by over 100 countries.”

Additional efforts to reduce HFCs will be announced at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York City next week, an event intended to catalyze ambitious commitments to phase down HFCs and other short-lived climate pollutants as part of the UN climate treaty that is expected to be concluded in December 2015 and go into effect in 2020.

“The Montreal Protocol has shown that decisive action by the international community, including the private sector, can achieve transformative results for the common good,” says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Let us learn from this example and apply its lesson to the urgent task of addressing the climate challenge.”

IGSD’s Primer on HFCs is here.

The White House HFC Fact Sheet is here.