#HFCPhasedown: Canada leading the charge on climate change


  1. In 1987, Canada hosted the world in Montreal, and countries from around the world came together to heal the ozone layer – and got a deal done.
  2. To fix the ozone hole, countries signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer) to ban chemicals that thin the ozone layer.
  3. And it worked great! Thanks to the Montreal Protocol a hole in the ozone layer bigger than India is almost repaired, mainly thanks to new chemicals called hydrofluocarbons, or HFCs. But then we found out that HFCs are good for the ozone but bad for the climate. They’re really powerful greenhouse gases used for things like refrigeration and air conditioning.
  4. Why does that matter? Because a global HFC phasedown will slow global warming by as much as half a degree.
  5. Canada and the US have been working together on this for years. In March 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama committed to adopt an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase-down HFCs in 2016. They also committed to give more money to the Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to help developing countries implement a phase-down.
  6. That’s why Canada took a leadership role in the meetings of the Montreal Protocol members and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in Vienna, Austria, July 21-23, 2016. The meetings are an important step towards getting a global agreement on phasing-down HFCs.
  7. Most people think of Vienna and imagine this:
  8. City Hall in Vienna during blue hour. The single star seen in the sky is Venus.
    City Hall in Vienna during blue hour. The single star seen in the sky is Venus.
  9. But, our team mostly saw this:
  10. But at least we were in good company! Minister McKenna was joined by the head of the US EPA, Gina McCarthy.
  11. Then, Minister McKenna met with other ministers at the Montreal Protocol meeting to share views and unite towards the adoption of a global HFC phase-down in 2016 and shared Canada’s position on the negotiations.
  12. Canada will continue to play a leadership role, together with Mexico and the U.S., in working toward a completed HFC phase-down agreement in 2016!
  13. While in Vienna, Minister McKenna and Canadian co-chair Rita Cerutti (@ritaceruttiCda) co-chaired the CCAC High Level Assembly to meet other CCAC Ministers and push for an HFC phase-down.