Meeting during the G-20, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to establish a contact group under the Montreal Protocol on the potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) — a significant step following the presidential agreement to work together on HFCs three months ago.
The G-20 also announced it supported serious progress in the U.N. climate talks in addition to using the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs. This could mean serious momentum for quick action to cut greenhouse gases now.
Back in June, the U.S. and China first formally agreed to use the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol of 1987 to phase down the consumption and production of HFCs. This could eliminate 90 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or two years’ worth) by 2050. John Podesta, Chair of the Center for American Progress and former White House chief of staff spoke about the importance of this next step:
Today, this initiative has become a reality, with the two leaders pushing to initiate the formal process of using the Montreal Protocol to achieve this end. Their first opportunity will come this October when the parties of the protocol convene in Bangkok.