To complete my previous post on actions against climate change, it is worth recalling another recent achievement, the approval last October of the amendment which modifies the Montréal Protocol and which proposes the progressive elimination of hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs. The agreement will represent a worldwide reduction of between 80% and 85% by the middle of the century, developed countries taking on the greatest responsibility and beginning to cut the use of HFCs in 2019, before the rest of the states.
The original Protocol, signed in 1987 to protect the ozone layer, following a serious warning by scientists, banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), proposing their replacement with other refrigerant gases which do not damage the ozone layer, such as HFCs.
A scientific paradox since HFCs, although they are not compounds which deplete the ozone layer, reach values up to 10,000 times that of CO2 in terms of global warming, transforming them into very powerful greenhouse gases, considered very harmful for the climate.
The adoption of this new agreement on the progressive elimination of HFCs could prevent a warming of 0.5 degrees during this century, it being considered that this amendment could be the world’s greatest contribution to last year’s COP 21 Paris agreements.
The balance of the planet is fragile and significant decisions to protect it are often taken lightly, their consequences and interested parties being unknown, but, in the light of experience, the future repercussions are undoubtedly very serious, threatening the planet’s sustainability.