The climate leaders of the world are meeting soon in Vienna to decide the next step in their strategy to deal with climate change caused by hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
This gathering is highly important because it will approve a 2016 amendment which will support ozone restoration and it will consist of valuable solutions to reduce the damage caused by HFCs.
The ‘ozone hole’ was first discovered by scientists in the 1980s. Since then, they have put all their efforts into the recovery of the ozone layer, which represents a natural sunblock that prevents ultraviolet rays from harming people.
This enormous hole is dangerous because it can deteriorate construction materials including wood or plastic, and it can jeopardize crops and marine life as well. Worse, it increases the risk of skin cancer as well.
Based on the 1987 Montreal Protocol, all country members were prompted to remove ozone-eroding chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and other chemicals which were used back then for refrigeration and air conditioning.
There are 197 country members who did their best to help to restore the ozone layer. Their efforts paid off as the hole was diminished by over four million square kilometers, approximately the size of India, and a full recovery was predicted by 2050.
This initiative did not have a severe impact on the economy thanks to the fact the private sector managed to adjust the costs appropriately. Unfortunately, many companies started to rely on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as refrigerants because they were regarded as a smaller threat to the ozone layer.
However, it seems that these chemicals have a severe impact on the climate system as they warm the planet thousands of times faster than any other chemical. It means that reducing carbon dioxide emissions will be even a more challenging issue than before.
Countries will double their efforts to reduce the HFCs. If their strategy pays off, 0.5 degrees centigrade of warming will be prevented by the end of the century but for this initiative to be successful, all country members must turn to other less degrading solutions.
Experts are also concerned that the HFCs in countries which are not members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will increase, meaning that the greenhouse gasses will threaten the Paris Climate Agreement.
Image Source:Climate Desk