Deal on greenhouse gas HFCs welcomed by UN

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Photo: UNEP

An agreement reached by more than 150 countries to phase out a global warming greenhouse gas has been welcomed by the UN Secretary-General.

The deal to reduce the production and use of  hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs was struck in Rwanda after an amendment was made to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty aimed at protecting the environment against the impact of harmful gasses.

Daniel Dickinson has more details.

HFCs are a powerful, short-lived greenhouse gas that trap heat and thus contribute to climate change.

Widely used in fridges, air conditioning and aerosol sprays, they are also the fastest-growing of all greenhouse gases.

The increase in usage is in part driven by a growing demand for cooling, particularly in developing countries with a fast-expanding middle class.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said "curbing their use will help limit near-term warming of the planet."

The deal follows the coming into force next month of the Paris Agreement in which countries across the world committed to keeping global temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius.

 The UN chief added that the global phase-down of HFCs, which will begin in 2019, was "significant" and could avoid up to half a degree of global warming by the end of this century.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 54″

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