Kigali Agreement Got Signed By 190+ Countries
As the second major international agreement in less than a year to fight climate change, on Saturday, over 190 countries came to an agreement to eliminate the planet-warming HFC (hydrofluorocarbon) gases by the late 2040s and move to prevent a potential 0.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperature by the end of the century.
The HFCs are a family of 19 gases that are used extensively in the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry. These are currently the world’s fastest growing greenhouse gases, with emissions increasing by up to 10 per cent each year. These gases do not deplete the ozone layer, but they are thousand times more dangerous than carbon dioxide in causing global warming.
All the 197 countries, including India, China and the United States, agreed on Saturday to a timeline to reduce the use of HFCs by roughly 85 per cent of their baselines by 2045. The agreement is an amendment to the 1989 Montreal Protocol, that was initially conceived only plug gases were destroying the ozone layer. The motive of the agreement is to avert an estimated 70 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions between 2020 and 2050.
A group of developing countries, including China, Brazil and South Africa, are mandated to reduce their HFC use by 85 per cent of their average value in 2020-22 by the year 2045. India and some other developing countries — Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and oil economies like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — will cut down their HFCs by 85 per cent of their values in 2024-26 by the year 2047.
This is the second time in a period of one month that a major agreement to climate change has been reached. The Paris Agreement was ratified to come into effect from November 4. Unlike the Paris Agreement, the Kigali agreement doesn’t legally bind countries to their promises to cut emissions, the amended Montreal Protocol will bind countries to their HFC reduction schedules from 2019. There are also penalties for non-compliance as well as clear directives that developed countries provide enhanced funding support estimated at billions of dollars globally.