Greenhouse Gas Deal a Good Step, But Not Nearly Enough: Scientists

An international agreement to limit hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is a significant step forward in the effort to slow global warming, several leading climate scientists say, but it will fall far short of politicians’ lofty promises.

Government leaders have touted the deal as a method to reduce global temperatures by as much as 0.5° Celsius by 2100, citing research that showed the emission from air conditioners trapped thousands of times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

“Agreeing a deal to phase down the use of HFCs is the single most important step we can take to limit the warming of the planet,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday from Kigali, Rwanda, where the deal was reached early Saturday.

Indeed, the Paris climate accord calls for warming to be limited to 1.5º Celsius, and so a reduction of 0.5° would be an enormous step toward meeting that goal.