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COP21 Update: Climate and Clean Air Coalition Launches 5-Year Plan to Avoid 0.6C Warming by 2050

High-Level Assembly of ministers commits to HFC amendment in 2016  

Ministers of the 50 Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) member countries launched a 5-year action plan today to cut short-lived climate pollutants, an effort that can avoid 0.6°C warming globally by 2050.  Fast action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants “is an urgent, effective and pragmatic complement to aggressive mitigation of carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases,” read the Paris Communique released at the Paris, COP21 meeting today.

“There must be fast mitigation in multiple venues to avoid near-term impacts and to slow the positive feedback mechanisms which are starting to kick in and accelerate warming,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of IGSD and a speaker at the assembly. “The CCAC is fostering action that will be critical in the post-Paris pivot to slow the rate of warming.”

Ministers in attendance of the High-Level Assembly also recognized an HFC phasedown as “one of the greatest quick opportunities” for near-term mitigation:

“We Ministers affirm our strong support for an amendment of the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs, welcome the progress made at the 27th Meeting of the Parties, and commit to actively work together and with other countries to adopt an HFC amendment in 2016. Within the Coalition itself, we will continue to promote climate-friendly HFC alternatives while improving energy efficiency, and welcome private sector-efforts to develop and adopt technologies and practices that reduce HFC emissions.”

In November this year, Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to work together in 2016 to eliminate HFCs, one of the six main greenhouse gases. An HFC agreement will avoid 100 billion tones of CO2 by midcentury and avoid 0.5°C warming globally by 2100.  Parallel improvements in the efficiency of the air conditioners that were using HFCs as refrigerants can avoid another 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2050, according to recent report by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

For more on the role of short-lived climate pollutants at COP21, check out Council on Foreign Relations guest blog by Nobel Laureate Mario Molina and Durwood Zaelke: Cutting Short-Lived Pollutants Can Give Quick Wins on Warming