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Presidents Reagan and Obama Make Possible an International Agreement to Eliminate Potent Man-Made Greenhouse Gases

Statement by Rev. Mitch Hescox:   

On Friday over 170 nations reached a legally-binding agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, to reduce and eliminate one of the most destabilizing climate pollutants in existence, hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, used primarily as refrigerants.  Implementation could reduce our climate problem by over 20 percent.  

President Reagan and President Obama together deserve much of the credit, along with Secretary of State John Kerry and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gina McCarthy.  The agreement is an amendment to the 1987 international treaty called the Montreal Protocol, which would not have come into existence without President Reagan’s strong leadership.  

The same can be said of President Obama and the Kigali agreement.  That’s because the President made this a top priority, and paved the way for the deal back in 2013 in a meeting with China’s President, Xi Jinping.  China is the world’s largest producer of HFCs, which are thousands of times stronger at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

We believe President Reagan would be proud that President Obama has built upon his legacy to help bring about climate stability.




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