U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Kigali, Rwanda, from October 13-14, 2016, to join EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and others in striving to achieve U.S. climate and environmental goals at the upcoming Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is widely regarded to be one of the most successful environmental treaties ever and was the first treaty to achieve universal ratification. This global agreement has put the stratospheric ozone layer on a path to recovery through measures to control production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances.
The negotiations in Kigali will be an opportunity to reach global agreement on an ambitious amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of hydroflourocarbons, or HFCs. HFCs have become popular substitutes for ozone-depleting substances, but – while they are far better for the ozone layer – they are also potent greenhouse gases, which means they contribute to global climate change.
An ambitious HFC amendment would build on the positive momentum of the Paris Agreement and could avoid up to half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of this century.