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Diplomacy: Obama and Chinese President Xi Agree to 'Phase Down' Super Greenhouse Gases

7:38 AM, Sep 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The White House made a foreign policy announcement this morning: "United States and China Reach Agreement on Phase Down of HFCs," the press release reads. HFCs are hydrofluorocarbons, which are sometimes called super greenhouse gases.

"Building on their June 8 accord on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in Sunnylands, President Obama and President Xi agreed at their bilateral meeting as a next step to establish a contact group under the Montreal Protocol on HFCs to consider issues related to cost-effectiveness, financial and technology support, safety, environmental benefits, and an amendment to the Montreal Protocol," reads the diplomatic announcement.

The agreement between President Obama and President Xi on HFCs reads as follows:

We reaffirm our announcement on June 8, 2013 that the United States and China agreed to work together and with other countries through multilateral approaches that include using the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs, while continuing to include HFCs within the scope of UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol provisions for accounting and reporting of emissions.  We emphasize the importance of the Montreal Protocol, including as a next step through the establishment of an open-ended contact group to consider all relevant issues, including financial and technology support to Article 5 developing countries, cost effectiveness, safety of substitutes, environmental benefits, and an amendment.  We reiterate our firm commitment to work together and with other countries to agree on a multilateral solution.

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