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Kigali HFC summit: ministers need to step on the gas to ensure global climate promises are kept

12 October 2016 - As ministers begin to arrive in Kigali, Rwanda, for talks to amend the Montreal Protocol and agree to tackle the use of climate warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Christian Aid urged them to accelerate negotiations towards an early phase down date.

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

“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.  These chemicals are thousands of times more potent than C0₂ as a greenhouse gas and are increasing in use by 10-15% a year.

“Vulnerable countries do not have time to wait, the climate is changing fast and phasing down HFCs is something which we absolutely must do if we’re going to honour the pledges of the Paris Agreement. It would be an embarrassing start if the Agreement came into force next month and countries had failed their first test by delivering a feeble deal on HFCs.

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

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A briefing document outlining the key themes and issues about HFCs and the Kigali Summit can be accessed here. For interview requests or more information contact jware@christian-aid.org. The 24-hour Christian Aid press duty phone is 07850 242950.


Notes to editors: 

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. 

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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