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    Cleaning: ‘Monumental’ Montreal Protocol Amendment to Aggressively Phasedown Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

    November 03, 2016

    • Delegates from 197 countries a reached a landmark deal to phasedown use of the fastest growing greenhouse gases, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. According to BBC News, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has declared this amendment “a major victory for the Earth” and a “monumental step forward, that addresses the needs of individual nations but will give us the opportunity to reduce the warming of the planet by an entire half a degree centigrade.” The new agreement phases down highly developed countries before developing countries.

      At the United Nations conference in Rwanda, 197 nations agreed to drastically reduce their use of HFCs, potent greenhouse gases used in air conditioners, refrigerators as well as solvent cleaning and vapor degreasing applications. HFCs were developed in the 1990s to replace hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and other ozone depleting substances. Although HFCs used in solvent cleaning applications, like Chemours’ Vertrel™ products containing HFC 43-10mee and Solvay Solkane™ and Solvokane™ products containing HFC-365mfc are not ozone depleting, they have high global warming potentials (GWPs). The continued growth of HFCs would make them a major contributor to climate change, so nations decided to phasedown their production under the same treaty that dealt with HCFCs, the Montreal Protocol.

      The newly amended Montreal Protocol will require:

      • More developed countries like the United States to start cutting HFC use by 2019; and
      • Less developed countries and countries with higher ambient temperatures will have more time to adopt newer technologies for refrigeration and air conditioning, with some of these countries capping their HFC use by 2024.

      Because this is all being done under the existing Montreal Protocol, which was ratified back in the 1990s, this deal is legally binding. Ultimately, the new amendment would aim to cut global HFC-use by 80 percent or more by mid-century.

      When choosing a vapor degreasing solvent, it’s important to factor in the solvent’s safety, sustainability and performance. 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids address the regulatory concerns facing HFCs, without compromising performance and cost effectiveness. You can clean with confidence because 3M Novec fluids are high performing, versatile and practical in a wide range of vapor degreasing, immersion, hand-wipe and spray cleaning applications.

      Learn more about how 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids can prepare you for the shift away from HFCs.

      ©3M 2016. All rights reserved.
      3M and Novec are trademarks of 3M Company.
      Vertrel is a trademark of The Chemours Company.
      Solkane and Solvokane are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Solvay or one of its affiliated companies.
      All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

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