Global Warming: Nations Agree To Cut Emission From Refrigerators

The 28th Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol ended in Kigali, Rwanda on October 15, 2016.


Environment ministers and experts parted company in Kigali, Rwanda on October 15, 2016 after participating in the 28th Meeting of the Parties, MOP 28, to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Prominent in resolutions was the decision by the over 17 nations to cut a heat-trapping chemical used in air conditioning units and refrigerators. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potentially reduce global warming by one half-degree Celsius, by the end of this century. Experts agreed that the agreement, announced Saturday (October 15, 2016) after all-night negotiations “gets us 90 per cent there.”  The Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development says this is the “largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement.”

Cameroon’s Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, Hele Pierre, was government’s flag bearer to the Kigali confab. The agreement reduces the use of hydrofluorocarbons through a gradual process, beginning in 2019 with action by developed countries, including the United States, the world’s second worst polluter. More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world’s top carbon emitter, will start taking action in 2024.

Experts say ozone-depleting substances generally contain chorine, fluorine, bromine, carbon and hydrogen in varying proportions. The substances produce depleting gases like those used in many applications like refrigeration, air conditioning, foam blowing, cleaning of electronic components, and as solvents. The substances are for depleting the ozone layer by not breaking down in the lowest atmosphere – they can remain in the atmosphere from 20 to 120 years or more. Ozone depleting substances are not “washed” back to earth by rain or destroyed by other chemicals unlike most chemicals that are released into the atmosphere. The substances are also noted for playing a role in climate change because they both contain chlorine and thus help the natural reactions that destroy the ozone.


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