Countries that signed the Montreal protocol have now agreed to discussing phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
The 197 signatories said in November they would work on an amendment to the protocol that would evenutally eliminate HFCs. Hydrofluorocarbons are used in air conditioning, refrigeration, foams and aerosols as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons, that are already being phased out under the protocol.
HFC emissions are growing by about 7% a year and, if no action is taken, global emissions are estimated to be up to 8.8 gigatonnes CO2e a year by 2050. Phase-out would prevent more than 0.5°C of warming by 2050, according to US national science body the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
At the meeting in Dubai, signatories discussed flexibility of implementation, capacity building and the need for an exemption for countries in warm climates. Remaining challenges will be discussed in meetings throughout 2016, the UN environment programme (UNEP) said.