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The world agreed to ban this dangerous pollutant — and it’s working

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Washington Post or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Researchers have reported a significant decline in atmospheric levels of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), harmful gases that deplete the ozone layer and contribute to global warming
• This decline, observed almost 30 years after the phase-out began, marks a milestone in global environmental efforts
• The findings were published in the journal Nature Climate Change

🔭 The context: The 1987 Montreal Protocol initiated the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) due to their severe ozone-depleting properties
• HCFCs, introduced as replacements, still posed environmental risks and have been subsequently phased out
• By 2021, global concentrations of HCFCs peaked and have since decreased significantly

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: This progress demonstrates the effectiveness of international cooperation in reducing harmful pollutants and protecting the ozone layer
• It highlights the potential for similar strategies to address broader climate challenges
• The success story provides hope for combating climate change through collective action

⏭️ What's next: The reduction of HCFCs is expected to continue, potentially inspiring more ambitious climate policies
• Attention now turns to managing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), another class of potent greenhouse gases
• Long-term efforts will focus on broader transitions away from fossil fuels

💬 One quote: "This is a remarkable success story that shows how global policies are protecting the planet," said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a climate scientist at UC San Diego and Cornell University

📈 One stat: The ozone-depleting potential of HCFCs in the atmosphere has fallen by about three-quarters of a percentage point since 2021

Click for more news covering the latest on Climate change

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