Hong Kong Customs displays 82.5kg of rhino horns from South Africa and destined for Malaysia. Photo: ISD

Climate

Preventing runaway climate change and warming of more than 1.5°C requires accelerating emission reductions of potent short-lived climate pollutants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other fluorinated chemicals. EIA’s Climate Campaign seeks to eliminate emissions of HFCs and other potent greenhouse gases used primarily in cooling and heating.  

Climate Campaign Goals

Currently the world is not on track to limit warming to less than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in order to avoid tipping points leading to catastrophic climate change. We must seize the opportunity to rid the world of fluorinated super pollutants to keep this goal within reach. 

To maximize the immediate climate benefits that can be achieved by eliminating super-pollutant HFCs, we seek to: 

  • Ensure robust implementation and enforcement of the Kigali Amendment to avoid up to 0.4°C by the end of this century
  • Accelerate the HFC phase down schedule under the Montreal Protocol and maximize energy efficiency co-benefits
  • Prevent lifecycle emissions of all existing HFCs and other fluorinated refrigerants, mitigating up to an additional 100Gt CO2e in direct emissions by 2100
  • Unlock U.S. leadership through innovative policy solutions and comprehensive implementation of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act

Climate Campaign Impact

  • EIA advocacy at the Montreal Protocol over many years contributed to finalizing a global HFC phasedown agreement under the Kigali Amendment, which is expected to mitigate 80 billion tonnes CO2e in emissions by 2050, avoiding up to 0.5°C warming by the end of the century. We continue our work to ensure successful implementation, and future acceleration of this global effort to achieve rapid climate benefits. 
  • Our 2018 investigation identified widespread illegal use of CFC-11 in China’s foam sector as a major source of an unexplained increase in emissions of the banned substance. The report spurred immediate enforcement action, leading to a subsequent rapid decline in emissions the following year in a major win for global climate and ozone protection. 
  • EIA created the first interactive grassroots platform for corporate accountability on refrigerants, at www.climatefriendlysupermarkets.org. Hundreds of citizen activists have engaged with the platform by submitting data to our map and signing various petitions urging supermarkets to transition to HFC-free technologies and prevent refrigerant leaks.

Related Resources

Press Release

Dangerous Climate Pollutant Leaks Uncovered in NYC Supermarket Chain

New York City, NY – A new report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in partnership with the climate group 350NYC.org uncovers what appear to be significant emissions of super-pollutant greenhouse gases from the local NYC supermarket chain Gristedes. Invisible leaks of refrigerants from supermarket cooling systems are a major source of climate pollution. According […]

Press Release

U.S. Proposes to Slash Super-Greenhouse Gases in New Refrigerators and Air Conditioners

Washington DC— Responding to a petition from EIA and others, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a proposed rulemaking to ban the use of many super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in new air conditioners, refrigeration as well as foams and aerosols. The estimated additional emission reductions of the rule are up to 903 million […]

Press Release

New Report: Chemical Nightmare – Ending emissions of fluorochemical greenhouse gases

WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL ENVIRONMENTAL TREATY THREATENED BY A CHEMICAL NIGHTMARE OF HARMFUL GAS EMISSIONS MONTREAL: A deadly cocktail of unexplained chemical gases harmful to the Earth’s ozone layer and climate is building up in the atmosphere, a new report warns. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) report Chemical Nightmare – Ending emissions of fluorochemical greenhouse gases is released as […]

Report

Chemical Nightmare – Ending emissions of fluorochemical greenhouse gases

In 2018, scientists revealed alarming, unexpected emissions of CFC-11, a potent ozone-depleting substance (ODS) which had been banned for nearly a decade. EIA investigations traced the source of CFC-11 to illegal production and use in the polyurethane foam sector in China, which had gone undetected for years by the Montreal Protocol’s existing monitoring and compliance […]

Report

Preventing Illegal Trade of HFCs: AIM Act Fact Sheet

This fact sheet examines the unique compliance and enforcement features of the 2021 allowance system developed to implement the Kigali Amendment in the United States. This serves as just one example for countries to consider as they improve and modernize previous domestic licensing and allowance systems designed for ODS, to ensure the successful phase down […]