Dems urge UN to keep official in charge of ozone treaty

“As the parties begin negotiating an HFC phase-down, continuity in the leadership of the Montreal Protocol Secretariat will be very important. As several key stakeholders recently explained, ‘Mr. Gonzales has earned the trust of the Parties during his tenure; and his experience, knowledge, and wisdom will help complete the HFC consensus,’ ” Waxman and Markey wrote in a Tuesday letter to Ban.

President Obama reached a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping to curtail HFCs in June, which laid the groundwork for a handful of other bilateral climate agreements between the two superpowers this summer.

HFCs are used in air conditioners and other refrigerants. In their letter, Waxman and Markey said scientists believe HFCs could drive at least 20 percent of global atmospheric warming by 2050 without efforts to restrict their use.

“An agreement to phase-down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol would send a powerful and concrete signal about the ability of the international community to cooperate to address the enormous challenge of climate change,” the lawmakers wrote.