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FSM fighting to lower greenhouse gas emissions under Montreal Protocol

POLAND – COP19: SPREP PACNEWS 2: Wed 20 Nov 2013

WARSAW, 20 NOVEMBER 2013 (SPREP) — Here at the UN Climate talks, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is supporting a proposal for the Montreal Protocol to take action to reduce HFC's, by doing so this will contribute to the UNFCCC goal of limiting greenhouse gases.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC's) are a common thread between the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Montreal Protocol. In taking action against them within the Montreal Protocol this will help ensure the two international agreements complement each other.

HFC's are factory-made chemicals used in refrigeration, air conditioning and fire suppressants. They are known as super greenhouse gases which are hundreds to thousands times more powerful than carbon dioxide and are replacements for the gases which have damaged the ozone layer that have been banned under the Montreal Protocol.

As they do not deplete the ozone layer,

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the emissions of HFCs are included in the “basket of gases” under the Kyoto Protocol. FSM agrees the most effective way to control the manmade gases such as HFC's is to reduce manufacturing them. The best way to do so is to include this under the Montreal Protocol.

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of substances responsible for ozone depletion.

“As we see it, this will complement the UNFCCC process. We believe this approach as we have to take all the steps we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are on the frontline of climate change, we must try everything we can – pursue all initiatives'” said Ambassador Jane Chigiyal, Permanent Representative to the United Nations for FSM.

“We believe that a proposal from the European Union is very similar to our approach towards this. We all have the same mutual goal to close the emissions gap and we think that doing so through the Montreal Protocol to reduce HFC's would make a difference. “

According to a brief on HFCs, this gas currently represents about 1% of all greenhouse gas emissions but is the fastest growing in the world, increasing by as much as 10 – 15% per year.

Without action now, HFC emissions are projected to increase to as much as 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“If we fail to prevent the growth of HFC's, this will undermine efforts to limit global average temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius,” said Chigiyal.

“There is growing support for this within the Montreal Protocol and we will continue trying.”

FSM also holds a seat on the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties which provides guidance for ongoing work of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocool, organisation of sessions and operation of the Secretariat. It also provides advice to the President of the COP and takes decisions when it comes to overall management of the intergovernmental process.

FSM has a delegation of five at the 19th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention to Climate Change which is held in Warsaw, Poland from 11 to 22 November…

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