Environment Canada

Environment Canada

April 30, 2010 09:49 ET

Government of Canada Taking the Lead in International Efforts to Phase Down HFCs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 30, 2010) - The Government of Canada is pursuing its commitment to work with the Governments of the United States and Mexico to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, a very successful global environmental treaty. Following the commitment made at the North American Leaders' Summit in August 2009, the three countries have jointly re-tabled a proposal to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. HFCs are greenhouse gases with high global warming potential that are being used as alternatives to ozone-depleting substances being phased out under the Protocol.

"Canada and its partners are demonstrating global leadership and commitment to proactively avert a potential threat to the climate system," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment. "Having played a key role in the negotiation and evolution of the Montreal Protocol, the Government of Canada is eager to build on its achievements and recognizes the significant impact this amendment would have on global climate change mitigation."

The contribution of HFC emissions to the total share of global greenhouse gas emissions is expected to grow significantly if action is not taken now. As HFCs do not affect the ozone layer, they have not, to date, been regulated under the Montreal Protocol. However, the Government of Canada and its North American partners recognize the Montreal Protocol as the most effective regulatory body for HFCs, given it already has the infrastructure and expertise in controlling substances in the relevant industries.

When the North American proposal was first tabled at the last meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in November 2009, it generated significant interest. Although not adopted, over 40 Parties at the meeting produced a declaration that recognizes the need to review the possibility of amending the Protocol to include substances such as HFCs. Since then, the Government of Canada has continued to cooperate with its North American partners to address concerns raised by some of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol so that the proposal can be successfully adopted.

For more information and to view a backgrounder on this announcement, please visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/.

(Également offert en français)

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