World leaders have arrived at a historic agreement in Rwanda that would gradually eliminate a major contributor to global warming.
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are several times poisonous to the environment than carbon but can be found in many households devices such as air-conditioners and fridges.
Demand for air-conditioners have risen over the last few decades as there has been a need for humans to keep cool because of global warming. However, these air-conditioners while cooling humans, contributes to the warming of the planet.
The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, has described the deal as “a monumental step forward, that addresses the needs of individual nations but it will give us the opportunity to reduce the warming of the planet by an entire half of a degree centigrade.”
The agreement in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, sought to amend an agreement in Montreal, Canada, that was reached 27 years ago.
In Montreal, the world agreed to phase out chlorofluorocarbons, which was deemed more toxic to the environment and replaced it with HFCs.
The deal enjoins richer European and North American states to begin cutting their use of HFCs within the next three years. However, developing countries have at least the next 10 years to follow suit.
Critics of the deal are unhappy that the United States gave too many concessions to countries such as China and India, who are large contributors, and too much time to begin work. China, the world’s largest producer, will begin reduction in 2029 while India has until 2032.