September 15, 2009

Kerry Applauds Phase-down of Dangerous Greenhouse Gases

Call for Reduction in Hydrofluorocarbons Signals U.S. Commitment to Global Climate Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, today applauded the Obama Administration's proposal to eliminate dangerous emissions known as Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as part of an international treaty to protect the ozone layer.

The treaty, known as the Montreal Protocol, currently excludes regulations for HFCs which Kerry has called "significantly more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide," warning that the emissions' damage "is only going to grow if we don't act in the short term."

"Anyone who doubted the intentions of the new Administration should pay close attention to this announcement and to those of us in the Senate who urged this ambitious action under the Montreal Protocol," said Kerry. "Likewise, the growth projections of HFCs alone better be a wakeup call to anyone still left in Congress who doubts the urgent need to address climate change. If allowed to grow, this extremely potent greenhouse gas could counteract global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide. The Administration's proposal sends another clear signal to the global community that the United States will not remain on the sidelines and will lead efforts to achieve a strong agreement in Copenhagen."

In April, Senators Kerry and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to President Obama calling for an amendment to the Protocol to achieve an 85% phase-down in HFCs by 2030.