WASHINGTON — The United States and other countries are ramping up pressure on world leaders to quickly phase out the use of a chemical contributing to global warming.
The White House says more than 100 countries are calling for an “early freeze date” for hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The freeze date is when nations must cap their use of HFCs, refrigerants that are more potent heat-trapping gases than carbon dioxide.
Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a gathering of the countries Thursday.
At the event at a New York hotel, Kerry said HFCs currently emit as much pollution as 300 coal-fired power plants.
“That is only going to get worse if we don’t act soon,” Kerry said.
The countries are trying to finalize a deal to add the chemical to a global ozone treaty. They’re hoping to adopt the amendment next month in Rwanda.
The White House says philanthropic groups including the Hewlett Foundation and Bill Gates are pledging $53 million to energy efficiency.