Legarda Hails Agreement Phasing Down Climate-Harming HFCs

October 21, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda hailed the approval of a global agreement that will prohibit the use of a climate-harming compound.


Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, said that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is crucial in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change as it phases down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that were found to contribute to global warming.


“The Kigali Amendment is another historic breakthrough in our fight to save humanity and our planet from dangerous global warming. In eliminating HFCs, we have taken a huge step towards implementing the Paris Agreement,” she said.


“This will pave the way for the development of new and innovative low-carbon technologies, sending a strong signal to the global market to replace hazardous chemicals with a new generation of environment- and climate-friendly alternatives,” Legarda added.


The HFCs, which are widely used in fridges, air conditioning and aerosol sprays, replaced chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) after the CFCs and HCFCs were banned under the Montreal Protocol because these were responsible for ozone depletion.


The HFCs are not harmful to the ozone layer and, in fact, studies have shown that the ozone, which helps shield the planet from the harmful rays of the sun, has started to heal. However, it has been found that HFCs contribute to global warming.


The Kigali Amendment is considered as the biggest and fastest climate change mitigation strategy available in the near-term.


The Amendment aims complete elimination of HFCs by the year 2050. This move is estimated to prevent about 0.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures by the end of this century. For this reason, the Kigali Amendment is considered absolutely vital for reaching the Paris Agreement target of keeping global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and even possibly staying below 1.5 degrees Celsius.


Legarda also lauded Professors Durwood Zaelke and Antonio Oposa Jr., international environmental lawyers, for their hard work and relentless efforts for the adoption of the Amendment.


Durwood, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development based in Washington, D.C., conceptualized the Amendment; while Oposa, a Filipino, was the principal delegate, spokesman and legal adviser of the Federated States of Micronesia, who, along with Mauritius and Morocco, submitted the first formal proposal in 2009 to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs.


“The Montreal Protocol is clear proof that despite formidable odds, transformative results can be achieved through concerted global efforts. We should learn from this example and apply its lesson to the urgent task of addressing climate change,” Legarda concluded.