WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) applauded yesterday’s international agreement to amend the Montreal Protocol in 2016 to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Montreal Protocol, which has successfully phased out nearly 100 harmful chemicals, is the only treaty that is signed by all 197 countries of the United Nations.
In September, Murphy and Collins introduced the Super Pollutants Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill that aims to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, often referred to as “super pollutants,” like HFCs. Super pollutants are responsible for an increasing share of global warming. Studies show that reducing them in the atmosphere could cut the rate of sea level rise by 25 percent, almost halve the rate of temperature rise, prevent two million premature deaths each year, and avoid crop losses of over 30 million tons annually. In their bill, the senators called for strong U.S. leadership to amend the Montreal Protocol to include HFCs.
“Yesterday’s decision to apply one of the most successful international treaties to these super pollutants is a big step forward in our fight against climate change,” said Senator Murphy. “The facts are stark: these harmful gases can be up to 10,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. Global cooperation to combat this and other super pollutants is long overdue, and it’s my hope that yesterday’s agreement will set us on a good path forward ahead of the climate talks in Paris next month.”
"Yesterday’s agreement to phase down HFCs is a welcome step forward in what needs to be an international effort to protect our global environment and slow the harmful effects of climate change,” said Senator Collins. “The bipartisan Super Pollutants Act of 2015, that Senator Murphy and I have introduced, would build on yesterday’s momentum and help address these and other short-lived but significant climate pollutants.”