Nearly 200 countries agree to curb greenhouse gases

CCTV News

Smokestacks billowing smoke

Nearly 200 nations have reached a deal to limit some of the strongest pollutants in the world. The agreement involving powerful planet-warming chemicals used in air conditioners and refrigerators could have a bigger impact than the Paris climate accord.

CCTV America’s Jessica Stone gave us this report.

Nearly 200 countries agree to curb greenhouse gases

Nearly 200 countries agree to curb greenhouse gases

The agreement involving powerful planet-warming chemicals used in air conditioners and refrigerators could have a bigger impact than the Paris climate accord.

There was celebration in Kigali, Rwanda, after nearly 200 nations in all-night negotiations reached a key agreement to protect the climate. At issue, greenhouse gases that come from refrigerators and air conditioners.

Experts say they are 10,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet – and cutting them is the fastest way to reduce global warming.

“It is staggering what this will achieve,” said Gina McCarthy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“We’re talking about an amount that’s comparable to thousands of coal-fired power plant emissions. It’s amazing.”

Nations have three different ways they can reduce greenhouse gases and replace them with climate-friendly alternatives. It also establishes penalties for not meeting the goals.

Most importantly, developing countries get more time to reach these limits over the next 20 years – and they will get financial help from richer nations.

Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama

China and the U.S. laid the groundwork for the deal back in 2013.

The world’s two largest polluters, China and the U.S., laid the groundwork for the deal back in 2013. That’s when Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama committed to prioritize limiting these greenhouse gases. They also pledged to produce more climate-friendly chemicals to replace them.

The agreement aims to reduce the world’s temperature by half a degree centigrade. And it’s legally binding – unlike the 2015 Paris climate agreement.