Civil society call for early phase-down of ozone depleting gases
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12 October 2016
Author :   Isaiah Esipisu
The conference is taking place in Kigali : >> Image Credits by:Isaiah Esipisu



Isaiah Esipisu

 The Christian Aid, a British based nongovernmental organisation has teamed up with the umbrella of African civil society organisations under the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) to urge environment ministers expected at the ongoing talks to amend the Montreal protocol in Kigali, Rwanda to negotiate for an early phase down date of gases that deplete the ozone layer.

 “It’s fitting that ministers will be arriving here at the summit because it is their governments’ credibility that will be on the line if we don’t get a strong outcome,” said Benson Ireri, the Senior Policy Officer for Africa at Christian Aid.

 The gasses being targeted for the phase down are in the group of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used in cooling systems such as refrigerators and air conditioners. The phase down process calls for the manufacturers of these gases to stop doing so, and substitute it with Hydrocarbons (HCs).

 “In the Paris Agreement, national leaders promised to keep global warming to a level well below 2 degrees centigrade and to try their hardest to limit it to 1.5 degrees. However, those promises will ring hollow if we don’t get an early date for the global phase down of HFCs,” said Ireri. 

 “These chemicals are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and are increasing in use by 10-15% a year,” he added.

 Mithika mwenda, the Secretary General for PACJA echoed Ireri’s sentiments, saying that the phase down is a key mitigation action, which will enable the global community to meet the provisions of the Paris Agreement.

 “It would be disastrous for communities at the frontline of climate crisis if the  Agreement came into force next month and countries had failed their  first test by failing to agree on an ambitious deal during this 28th  Session of Montreal Procotol,” said Mwenda.

 According to Ireri, the vulnerable countries do not have time to wait because the climate is changing fast. “Phasing down HFCs is something which we absolutely must do if we’re going to honour the pledges of the Paris Agreement,” he said.

 “It’s time for ministers to step on the gas and ensure phase down dates in the early 2020s,” added Ireri.



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