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18 November 2016, Marrakech – “We lost a step in Marrakech that we couldn’t afford,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, from Marrakech where he was attending the negotiations. “Climate impacts are accelerating. We’re already at 1°C and moving fast towards 1.5°C likely in the next 15 years when we’ll face a cluster of tipping points that are expected to hit between 1.5°C and 2°C.  We need to accelerate the speed of our solutions as well as our ambition if we want to keep the climate safe.”

After a year of rapid progress following last December’s breakthrough Paris Agreement – including ratification by 111 countries bringing it into force in record time, and groundbreaking agreements last month on phasing down warming HFC refrigerants and on limiting emissions from aircraft – the meeting was supposed to produce both a celebration and an acceleration of action. But the champagne that flowed in Paris went flat after the US election, and the formal negotiations struggled in Marrakech to retain their forward movement.

There has, however, been encouraging progress outside the formal proceedings with individual nations from China to Chile describing ambitious plans to cut emissions and US states from California to Vermont making it clear that they will continue to accelerate action to limit climate change, whatever policies emanate from Washington.

Countries from around the world have made it clear that the move to a global low-carbon economy is now irreversible, including, 48 vulnerable countries vowing to move to 100% clean energy as soon as possible. And a new international collaborative initiative among developed and developing countries set out to accelerate the transformation of the global energy system by promoting initiatives on renewables and energy efficiency.

But time is short and the challenge is speed. “Climate impacts are continuing to accelerate—the Arctic is a frightening 20°C above normal—and we’ve got to accelerate our solutions.  You can’t solve a fast moving problem with slow moving solutions,” said Zaelke.

The goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep warming under 2°C, aiming for 1.5°C.  “We need to improve our aim if we’re going to have any realistic chance of hitting the1.5°C target in the next 15 years and avoiding the cluster of 18 tipping points between 1.5°C and 2°C,” said Zaelke.

Fast action to cut short-lived climate pollutants is essential to slow warming in the near-term and staying below 1.5°C.  Cutting these pollutants—black carbon, methane, and HFCs—can cut the rate of warming in half, and the Arctic warming by two-thirds.  This was the message of a paper launched at COP22 earlier in the week, “Under 2 Degrees Celsius: Fast Action Policies to Protect People & the Planet from Extreme Climate Changes.”  The High-Level Summary, now open for public comment, was organized by Professor V. Ramanathan at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Nobel Laureate Mario Molina, and Zaelke, and written by over thirty experts in climate science, economics, policy, and national security, from China, EU, India, UK and US, presenting a new approach to stay below 2ºC aiming for 1.5°C, and thus avoid extreme and unmanageable climate changes.

The US “Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Depcarbonization” released this week also highlights the immediate need to reduce non-CO2 SLCPs such as methane and HFC refrigerants, and emphasized that action on climate change is “a pro-growth economic strategy.”

The final COP22 decision documents are here.

16 November 2016, Marrakech – A new report, published today at the climate talks in Marrakech, presents President-Elect Trump with one of his first, and most radical challenges.  In the US Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonisation, the outgoing administration lays out a “strategy to deeply decarbonize” the economy, by reducing the nation’s emissions of greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050, while boosting growth and jobs.

Describing “ambitious and sustained” action on climate change as “a pro-growth economic strategy” the report notes that US greenhouse gas emissions have declined by nine percent between 2008 and 2015 while the US economy grew by ten percent, proving that emissions can co-exist with a growing economy. It adds, “the world’s largest economies recognize that scaling up low carbon technologies is an economic opportunity. By investing in low carbon solutions American companies and workers can lead the clean energy and low carbon global economy of the 21st century.”

Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development said. “President-elect Trump has a mandate to increase growth in the US economy. He will have his own ideas on how to do it but, as he will no doubt understand, embracing the low carbon future is not just about climate change, but about cleaning up the air and increasing American’s prosperity and wellbeing.”

“China and other major economies are forging ahead basing future growth on 21st century technologies, like clean renewable energy, rather than trying to cling on to 19th century ones. The Trump administration should help lead this new industrial revolution, rather than leaving it to our competitors.”

In an ongoing collaboration with Mexico, Canada, non-governmental and private sector, the strategy released today identifies three major categories of action for achieving deep economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions reductions. These categories include transitioning to a low-carbon energy system, carbon remove and sequestration largely from maintaining and expanding our forests and other landscapes, and reducing non-CO2 short-lived climate pollutants such as methane and HFC refrigerants.

In October 2016, the US worked with nearly 200 other countries to adopt an amendment under the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs, which could avoid up to 0.5°C warming by 2100. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory calculates that moving to super-efficient air conditioning and other appliances during the refrigerant transition has the potential to double the climate benefits.

The US report cited areas for further near-term ambition actions on HFCs, including calling for measures to address existing stock of refrigerators and air conditioners, which already contain HFCs and have potential to leak into the atmosphere over the coming decades, additional RD&D support to ensure new alternatives to HFCs continue to enter the market, and working with partners in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC), launched in 2012, to promote climate-friendly alternatives and standards for HFCs.

Earlier this week at COP22 a group of by over thirty experts in climate science, economics, policy, and national security launched a report emphasizing the need for fast global action including through sister agreements much like the Montreal Protocol.

The “Under 2 Degrees Celsius: Fast Action Policies to Protect People & the Planet from Extreme Climate Changes” high-level summary released on Monday takes a new approach to staying below 2°C and thus avoid extreme and unmanageable climate changes.  The report identifies 4 building blocks for climate policy success and 10 scalable solutions implemented through multi- dimensional and multi-sectoral methods to get the global economy and society to achieve rapid reductions in short-lived climate pollutants by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality and climate stability by 2050.

See also:

The Climate and Security Working Group International Issues Statement on Climate Change and Security (CSWG-I), an international group of national security, military and foreign policy experts, issued a statement declaring:

We the undersigned members of the international security community conclude that climate change is a risk to international peace and stability. We call on world leaders to address climate risk in their national, regional and international security planning.

The CSWG-I’s International Climate and Security Consensus Statement was signed by 27 experts, representing a broad range of nations, and a depth of military, national security and foreign policy experience.  The statement goes on to note:

Climate change promises to make many of the complex crises the world currently faces much harder to solve. Unchecked, the effects of a warming climate will force people from their homes, destabilise societies and markets, create new sources of social and political tension, and even contribute to state fragility and failure. All of this can provide a vacuum for extremist groups to thrive.

Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs at the Center for Climate and Security, and Chair of the CSWG-International, stated:

“We do not have the luxury of choosing the risks we face. But we can choose how we respond to those risks. This statement calls on the international community to respond comprehensively and cooperatively to climate change – an issue the security community has defined as a strategically-significant risk.”

To help address that risk, the drafters offer a few top-line solutions, including:

“Addressing climate security risks in alliances and major international forums is essential: in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the African Union, theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations, the Organization of American States,

the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the UN Security Council, as well as building on the efforts of the G7 foreign ministers through the A New Climate for Peace project.”

Click here for the full statement, including signatories. 

Other related documents:

14 November Launch of the report from Committee to Prevent Extreme Climate Change


Chairs: V. Ramanathan, Mario Molina & Durwood Zaelke


14 November 2016, at Marrakech COP22 – Today a panel representing UNEP, the World Health Organization, University of California, California Governor Jerry Brown’s office, and world-renowned scientists and policy experts will launch a roadmap to keep global warming from breeching the 2ºC guardrail.

The report – written by over thirty experts in climate science, economics, policy, and national security, from China, EU, India, UK and US – takes a new approach to staying below 2ºC and thus avoid extreme and unmanageable climate changes. The report identifies 4 building blocks for climate policy success and 10 scalable solutions implemented through multi- dimensional and multi-sectoral methods to get the global economy and society to achieve rapid reductions in short lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality and climate stability by 2050.

“It is still not too late to limit the warming.  Staying below 2ºC requires social, financial, and technical actions by 2020 on a global scale.  Transitioning to the energy of the future and cleaning the air of short lived pollutants are critical steps to the health and well being of the most vulnerable today and our future generations. Fortunately, there are 53 living laboratories, such as California, around the world to show us the pathway.”

  • Ramanathan, Chair of the Committee & Distinguished Professor at Scripps

“We know we are running out of time.  This diverse group of experts provides the world with a specific plan for effectively addressing the climate change challenge in both the near- and long-term.”

  • Mario Molina, Chair of the Committee, Nobel Laureate & Distinguished UC San Diego Professor

“We can’t solve a fast moving problem like climate change with slow moving solutions. Speed is our new metric—speed to cut the SLCPs by 2030, to achieve clean energy and net zero emissions by 2050, and to remove a growing share of the carbon dioxide we’ve already emitted.”

  • Durwood Zaelke – Chair of the Committee & IGSD President

This group of renowned scientists and policymakers are now calling on the global public to determine the best methods for solving the climate crisis. The high-level summary is now open for public comment and the the policy-maker’s summary will be posted for public comment on 10 December 2016.

All documents can be found here.

The press conference will be held at 9:30AM on Monday, November 14 in Press Conference Room Dakhla of the COP22 Blue Zone. The press conference video will be posted here following the event.



  • Veerabhadran Ramanatha & Durwood Zaelke
  • Daniel Kammen, Distinguished Professor of Energy, University of California Berkeley
  • Ken Alex, office of California Governor Jerry Brown
  • Jacqueline MacGlade, UN Environment Chief Scientist
  • Maria Neira, Director, World Health Organization


Press inquiries please contact: Katie Fletcher –

By Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary


Salaheddine Mezouar, President of COP22 and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco


Marrakech, Morocco – Humanity will look back on November 4, 2016, as the day that countries of the world shut the door on inevitable climate disaster and set off with determination towards a sustainable future.

The Paris Climate Change Agreement – the result of the most complex, comprehensive and critical international climate negotiation ever attempted – came into force today.

The Agreement is undoubtedly a turning point in the history of common human endeavor, capturing the combined political, economic and social will of governments, cities, regions, citizens, business and investors to overcome the existential threat of unchecked climate change.

Its early entry into force is a clear political signal that all the nations of the world are devoted to decisive global action on climate change.

Next week’s UN climate change conference in Marrakech represents a new departure for the international community, and the first meeting of the Paris Agreement’s governing body, known as the CMA, will take place during it on November 15.

This is a moment to celebrate. It is also a moment to look ahead with sober assessment and renewed will over the task ahead.

In a short time – and certainly in the next 15 years – we need to see unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and unequalled efforts to build societies that can resist rising climate impacts.

The timetable is pressing because globally greenhouse gas emissions which drive climate change and its impacts are not yet falling – a fact which the Marrakech meeting must have at the front of its concerns and collective resolve.

The World Meteorological Organization has now confirmed that the average global concentration in the atmosphere of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, reached the symbolic and significant milestone of 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015 and broke new records in 2016.

This means that the world is not nearly on track to meet the Paris Agreement’s primary goal to limit global warming well below 2°C and as close to 1.5°C as possible to prevent dangerous climate tipping points, beyond which we may lose the ability to control the outcome.

Paris delivered a gift of hope for every man, woman and child on the planet. Yet today’s celebration can also rest on the assurance that the policies, technology and finance to achieve these goals not only exist, but are being deployed as never before.

The Paris Agreement swept into force on an unprecedented wave of action and pledges to build a global renewable energy industry, clean up existing power, production, construction and agricultural sectors and re-engineer economies and societies to be more resilient to the climate impacts already in the system.

Our collective ability to enact rapid change has changed for good because of the Paris Agreement, and particularly for the following reasons:

  • In Paris, Governments formally accepted to lead climate action and presented a global set of national plans for immediate action, pledging never to lower efforts and to raise their ambition over time. They are now accountable and have the means to drive change even faster through more, stronger, climate-friendly policies and incentives.
  • Within a few short years –ideally no later than 2018 – governments and parties will have completed the details of a rulebook which will measure, account for and review global climate action. This will ensure transparency on all sides needed to accelerate climate action by making sure that everyone is involved in the effort and is delivering to the best of their abilities.
  • Furthermore, Governments agreed to strengthen adequate technology and financial support to developing nations so they can build their own sustainable, clean energy futures.
  • Finally and importantly, non-party stakeholders are showing increased interest and commitment to lowering the carbon emissions and supporting governments and parties in their fight against the dire effects of climate change.

We expect the Marrakech COP 22 conference to accelerate work on the rulebook and to see emerge a definable pathway for developed countries to materialize the flow of USD $100 billion per year by 2020 in support of climate action by developing ones.

Very large-scale reallocations of investment are necessary. UN estimates show that achieving sustainable development will require USD $5-7 trillion a year, a large slice of which must fund the transition to a low-carbon, resilient world economy. To fulfill these investment needs, we will need to look at creative funding options, beyond the traditional ones and in which both public and private sector flows are aligned and scaled-up.

This, too, is happening but needs to speed up. UN data show global financial flows over the past few years ratcheting up to the point where one trillion dollars a year should be achievable in the near future. This means governments, the multilateral and the private sector raising and allocating tens of billions of dollars at a time towards climate investments.

The foundations of the Paris Agreement are solid and other key features of humanity’s new home are starting to rise. Yet, we cannot and we must not rest until the roof is in place. This November in Marrakesh we will make sure it will be in place, sooner rather than later.

Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol eliminates warming from one of six main greenhouse gases

Kick-starts markets, avoiding nearly 0.5°C warming, plus mitigation from energy efficiency

Kigali, 15 October 2016 – Warming caused by one of the six main greenhouse gases will be taken out of the climate system through the Kigali Amendment agreed in the early morning hours today in Rwanda.  The amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase out HFCs is the largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement.

“We came to take a half a degree Celsius out of future warming, and we won about 90% of our climate prize,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development.  (See graph below.)

“The majority of the low-hanging fruit has been picked with this amendment, and we’ll get the rest through market forces,” added Zaelke. “The Montreal Protocol has always catalyzed market transformation faster than the mandated dates for phase-outs.  It’s also always been a start and strengthen treaty, and I’m confident in its power to get all the climate mitigation available.”

Following ratification of the Paris Agreement last December, the Montreal Protocol HFC amendment moved into the international spotlight as the next critical step on climate, and the biggest and fastest mitigation strategy available in the near-term.

“An ambitious HFC amendment is likely the single most important step that we could take at this moment to limit the warming of our planet and protect the planet for future generations to come” said US Secretary of State, John Kerry in an address to the Parties today.  “No country has a right to turn its back on this effort.”  And no country did.

“This is a victory for the atmosphere, but also for the citizens and corporate leaders who supported the HFC Amendment for many years,” said Stephen O. Andersen, IGSD Director of Research. “It is a business opportunity for the companies who deliver super-efficiency with the next-generation lower-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives.”

“The Kigali Amendment, and the pledged funding behind it, insures we fully maximize the energy efficiency benefits available during the refrigerant transition, adding the potential to double the climate mitigation,” said Zaelke.

“With the Montreal Protocol amendment, we’ve moved from Paris pledges to concrete action,” Zaelke added.  Unlike the Paris Agreement, the Montreal Protocol is a treaty that commits all countries to mandatory mitigation measures and ensures compliance through a robust compliance assistance program, backed up with sanctions. To date, the treaty has phased out nearly 100 similar climate pollutants by nearly 100%.

The Kigali Amendment is a huge victory for Africa, who was a critical player in achieving an ambitious agreement. “The Kigali Amendment is the most significant climate mitigation step the world has ever taken, and brings us closer to staying below 1.5°C,” said Vincent Biruta, President of the Meeting of the Parties, and Minister of Natural Resources for Rwanda.

“The march towards Marrakesh began today in Kigali with the decision to eliminate warming from HFCs.  This is the most important step on the implementation of the Paris Agreement.  Today we agreed on mandatory obligations in order to phase down a super greenhouse gas and we will do it using a tool that has always delivered, the Montreal Protocol,” said Hakima El Haite, Minister of Energy, Water, and Environment Morocco and COP22 High-Level Champion.  “Concrete global action at scale has begun, and we are not turning back.”

The Federated States of Micronesia and Mauritius, along with Morocco, submitted the first formal proposal in 2009 to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs.  As Micronesia President Christian said, “this is an opportunity the world cannot afford to miss.”  And the world didn’t.

The developed countries start in 2019 with a freeze, which caps future growth, and an immediate 10% reduction.  The progressive group of developing countries, which includes China, have a freeze date of 2024, and India and the few other less ambitious countries have a freeze date of 2028.  The early action by developed countries and the ambitious group including China insures a fast market transition, which means the transition of the laggards will be much faster than their ultimate date.

“Montreal Protocol is probably the most successful agreement on planet earth… implemented down to the last letter by everyone,” UNEP Executive, Director Erik Solheim said, adding that an HFC amendment is one of the cheapest, one of the easiest, and one of the lowest hanging fruits in the arsenal of climate change.

[The growth depicted in the graph below does not factor in the additonal growth in air conditioning and other cooling devices that will be driven by a warming world.  Nor does the mitigation factor in the additional mitigation from increasing the energy efficiency of air conditioning and other cooling devices that the amendment is expected to catalyze, based on past phase outs.  Lawrence Berkeley Lab calculates that efficiency gains of room air conditioners alone could perhaps double the climate mitigation.]


Fast-start fund to improving energy efficiency during Montreal Protocol HFC phasedown

Will save developing nations billions of dollars and avoid billions of tons of emissions

22 September 2016, New York – Today Bill Gates and other philanthropic foundations announced fast-start funding to maximize energy efficiency in parallel with an ambitious HFC amendment under the Montreal Protocol.

“This $80 million fast-start fund not only is a great boost to achieving success in Kigali, but it also ensures that the Parties can double the climate prize by capturing the parallel energy efficiency benefits.”  said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “The fast-start fund is key to protecting the low-lying islands and other countries that are already suffering severe climate impacts.”

Argentina pledged support to the High Ambition Coalition this morning and China reiterated its pledge to to help in the final sprint to an ambitious and comprehensive amendment in Kigali.  Rwanda, the host of the meeting next month, also pledged its support to bring home the victory in Kigali.

With a combined $27 million from governments and $53 million from foundations the total investment is $80 million USD to support developing nations (Article 5 countries) in implementing an ambitious HFC amendment and improving energy efficiency.

The announcement comes just weeks ahead of the October 9th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda, where an HFC amendment is widely anticipated – although the level of ambition that some countries will bring to the negotiations is still unclear.

A fast HFC phasedown under the Montreal Protocol can avoid 100 billion tons of CO2-equivalent by 2050 and avoid 0.5C warming by 2100.  Improving energy efficiency in parallel with an HFC phasedown could approach 80 to 100 billion tones avoided from appliance efficiency alone, nearly doubling the climate benefits of a phase down alone.  Previous phase outs over similar substances under the Montreal Protocol have catalyzed energy efficiency improvements to appliances using the refrigerants in the range of 30 to 60%.

HFCs, or hydrofluorocarbons, are super greenhouse gases used in refrigerants and air conditioning that can be up to 4,000 times more potent than CO2. In a warming world, the use of air conditioning is projected to grow to 2.5 billion air conditioners by 2050.  Improving energy efficiency of appliances is a win-win, reducing emissions and producing energy savings can be spread to those without.

The Africa Group, who has strongly advocated for an ambitious amendment during the negotiations, praised the funding initiative:

“From an African perspective, the HFC phase down represents a chance for us to fight climate change while ensuring our sustainable development. The Parties have already agreed to a generous financing package that will ensure that developing countries get the assistance they need to continue on the path of sustainable development while phasing down HFCs and promoting energy efficiency Now we need an ambitious phase down schedule that ensures we maximize the available climate benefits.” Burkina Faso Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Sadou Maiga.

“For African States, it is imperative that we seize every opportunity to combat climate change. One of the biggest and most affordable opportunities to do that is by aggressively phasing down HFCs. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity.” – Mali Minister of Environment, Keita Aida M’Bo.

“The Parties have outlined a financial package that provides generous support for developing countries to phase down HFCs while promoting energy efficiency. The only piece missing is an ambitious HFC phase down schedule in all Parties. If we can agree to that, future generations will not look back and say we missed this opportunity.” – Advisor to the Prime Minister of Senegal and negotiator of the African Group to the Montreal Protocol, Ndiaye Cheikh Sylla.

IGSD’s HFC Primer is here.

The White House press release is here.

Morocco’s Climate COP22 Champion, Rwanda Environment Minister & Norway Environment Minister

22 September 2016, New York – The hosts of the two most important climate meetings this year, Moroccan Environment Minister and COP22 Climate Champion Hakima El Haite and Environment Minister of Rwanda Vincent Biruta, will co-host a press conference on the opportunity to implement energy efficiency at scale through an ambitious HFC amendment to the Montreal Protocol in Rwanda next month. The government of Norway, a strong supporter of this initiative, will join the ministers from Africa.

[This event will build off $80 million fast-start fund announced today.]

Rwanda will host 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol next month in Kigali, where an HFC amendment is likely but the level of ambition is yet to be determined. The Morocco-Rwanda Joint Statement reads:

The Kingdom of Morocco and the Government of Rwanda stand united to work with all Parties to the Montreal Protocol to pass an ambitious amendment in October in Kigali.  Doing so would be the most impactful step the world can take this year to achieve the global targets set under the Paris Agreement.

A fast HFC phasedown under the Montreal Protocol can avoid 100 billion tons of CO2-equivalent by 2050 and avoid 0.5C warming by 2100 – nearly 10% of the mitigation needed to stay below the 2C level established as the outer limit in the Paris Agreement last year and is crucial on the path to stay below 1.5C.

Past phase outs under the Montreal Protocol have catalyzed energy efficiency improvements to appliances using the refrigerants in the range of 30 to 60%. In the room air conditioning sector alone, improving energy efficiency of equipment by 30% while simultaneously transitioning to low-GWP HFCs alternatives could save an amount of electricity equivalent to up to 2,500 medium-sized power plants globally by 2050, while providing climate mitigation of nearly 100 billion tons of CO2-equivalent by 2050 from this sector.

There are currently 900 million room air conditioners worldwide. As populations and incomes increase and as the world gets warmer, this number is projected to grow to 2.5 billion air conditioners by 2050. In many countries during the hot season, air conditioners use up to 50% of peak power.

Energy efficiency in air conditioning provides a powerful opportunity to use saved energy to provide for those without, and the Montreal Protocol could help launch a global energy-efficiency transition. Such energy efficiency gains also will reduce air pollution, save lives and protect health, and prevent damage to crops.

By ensuring energy efficiency in the implementation of an HFC phasedown the countries of Africa are partnering together to protect their economies and their populations from climate change.



Hon. Hakima El Haite, Climate Champion COP22 and Environment Minister Morocco

Hon. Vincent Biruta, Minister of Environment Rwanda

Hon. Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment Norway

Kate Hampton, CEO of Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

Durwood Zaelke, IGSD President (Moderator)

Fast action on HFCs, methane, and black carbon could avoid 0.6°C of warming by 2050

19 September 2016, California – Today California Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s—and the world’s— strictest law against powerful short-lived super pollutants – SB 1383 – pushing the state’s near-term climate mitigation efforts one step further.

The ambitious law requires the California Air Resources Board to begin implementing a comprehensive super pollutant reduction strategy by 2018.  The law calls for 40% reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and methane, and 50% reduction of black carbon below 2013 levels by 2030.

Fast aggressive cuts to HFCs, methane, and black carbon can avoid up to 0.6°C of warming by mid-century, a significant part of the mitigation needed to keep the planet from warming more than 2°C above pre-Industrial levels.

“Meeting our climate goals is a fantasy without aggressive cuts to HFCs and the other short-lived climate pollutants along with CO2,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “Governor Brown understands this, and California’s new law is yet another example of the state leading the way on climate mitigation.”

Distinguished Scripps UC San Diego Professor V. Ramanathan called SB 1383 a “lifeline” for California. “SB 1383 policies that California is implementing today, if achieved worldwide, would cut the expected rate of global warming in half by 2050, save millions of lives, avoid millions of tons of crop losses per year and slow dangerous climate feedbacks such as melting ice caps and rising sea levels.  The benefits of such a policy can far exceed the cost of enacting it,” he said.

California’s new law keeps pressure on the Parties to the Montreal Protocol who will meet next month in Kigali, Rwanda, to discuss the final details of an amendment to phasedown HFCs globally. Such an amendment is likely to be agreed, although it is not yet clear how ambitious it might be. A fast phase down of HFC could avoid the equivalent of 100 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050, and up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century.

Improving the efficiency of room air conditioners by 30%, alongside the phase down, could save the equivalent of an additional 100 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions.  This could save enough energy to avoid building up to 1,600 medium-size peak power plants worldwide by 2030, and up to 2,500 by 2050.

The University of California’s Executive Summary of Bending the Curve: Ten scalable solutions for carbon neutrality and climate stability is here.

IGSD’s HFC Primer is here.

Secretary of State Kerry brings momentum to extraordinary meeting of Montreal Protocol

24 July 2016, Vienna – The top climate priority of President Obama to use the Montreal Protocol to phase down super pollutants known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) became much more likely in the early hours of Sunday (24 July), when almost all parties converged on a narrower set of options on key issues as they concluded their extraordinary meeting in Vienna.

“Secretary of State John Kerry and the many ministers who came to Vienna this week generated enough momentum to propel rank-and-file negotiators to move significantly closer to agreement to phase down HFCs,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development.

“India, however, remained the outlier, showing little evidence of the promise Prime Minister Modi made to President Obama to finish an ambitious HFC amendment this year,” he added.

The final version of the HFC amendment is expected to be agreed at the final Meeting of Parties this October in Kigali, Rwanda, although much progress will have to be made in the coming months, including at an additional extraordinary working group meeting the parties just agreed to hold, subject to funding.

A fast HFC phasedown can avoid the equivalent of up to 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2050, and avoid up to half a degree Celsius of warming by 2100.

Improving energy efficiency in air conditioners and other appliances during the phasedown of HFCs, which are used as refrigerants, can nearly double the climate benefits of the phasedown by avoiding a second 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide in mitigation by 2050, increasing the size of the climate prize to 200 billion tons.

Earlier in the week many ministers called for “Friends of Ambitious HFC Amendment,” and promised to promote the amendment at the G20, the UN opening, and other high-level meetings.  The Friends group was discussed at the high-level meeting of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

“The HFC amendment is a big down payment on the Paris Agreement negotiated last December,” Zaelke added.  “It’s a very big deal, and the US and most of the rest of the countries of the world are now treating it that way.”

The CCAC’s Vienna Communique is here.

IGSD’s Primer on HFCs is here.