Christian Aid has welcomed the announcement from 17 philanthropic donors who have set up a new $53m fund to help developing countries improve their energy efficiency and phase out the use of potent greenhouse gasses known as HFCs. In a rare example of philanthropists providing cash directly to nation states, the fund will help poor countries to replace the polluting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), used in air conditioning and refrigerators, and improve the energy efficiency of developing countries which will be increasing their energy use in coming years.
Combined with an upcoming amendment of the Montreal Protocol, which successfully phased out ozone depleting CFCs in the 1990s, the combined effect of these initiatives could reduce global temperature rise by a full degree Celsius.
Christian Aid’s Senior Climate Advisor, Mohamed Adow, said: “This commitment from these donors shows that developing countries have nothing to fear from phasing out HFCs. “HFCs were a clever human creation to replace CFCs which were punching a hole in the ozone layer. But what we didn’t realise then was how much HFCs contributed to climate change – they are up to 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide. “Thankfully climate friendly alternatives have now been developed and so can replace the old HFC spewing equipment. “This is the first time I’ve seen philanthropists donating directly to country coffers like this; usually they use their money to leverage action with countries less directly. But this will be a fund these countries can call on directly to help with the transition away from HFCs. “It’s a great boost ahead of next month’s meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, where plans will be agreed for a phase down of HFC use around the world with a deadline set for their elimination.”
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