About 150 nations meeting in Rwanda agreed a global deal to reduce greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, a Rwandan minister announced to loud cheers on Saturday, a major milestone in combating climate change.
The talks on hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, have been called the first test of global will since the historic Paris Agreement to cut carbon emissions was reached last year. HFCs are described as the world’s fastest-growing climate pollutant and are used in air conditioners and refrigerators.
The agreement announced Saturday morning, after all-night negotiations, caps and reduces the use of HFCs in a gradual process beginning in 2019 with action by developed countries including the United States. More than 100 developing countries, including China, will start taking action in 2024.
A small group of countries including India and some Gulf states secured a later start in 2029, saying their economies need more time to grow.