President Kagame calls for an ambitious amendment to the Montreal Protocol to make the world safer and more prosperous

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has opened the High Level Segment of the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP28) with a call on the world to quickly end the production and use of potent greenhouses gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The President was speaking to representatives of 197 nations who are in Kigali to work towards amending the Montreal Protocol to phase out HFCs. Doing so could avoid up to half a degree Celsius of global warming by the end of the century.

The opening of the High Level Segment was led by MOP27 President, Lucie Desforges from Canada, who thanked all Parties to the Protocol for their commitment to finding common ground and to reaching an amendment that works for all.

During the ceremony, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Erik Solheim, reminded delegates that change is within them, and that they should strive to make the world better by amending the Protocol.

“We can only solve global problems by working together. No country can solve shared challenges alone. Collaboration is key," Mr Solheim said, adding: “Can we be the change we wish to see in this world? Yes we can!”

In his statement, President Kagame spoke about the historic opportunity to protect the climate.

“We are on the cusp of momentous progress. We have the chance to make a major step forward in the fight to limit the effects of climate change on our environment and our people. My message to all of us today is a call to ambition: Let’s not only get it done, but also do it well.”

The President also said that the earliest possible phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) would make the world a better place.

"The earliest possible phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will make our world safer and more prosperous. We should not allow ourselves be satisfied with making a little bit of good progress when it is within our power to actually solve the problem. The faster we act, the lower the financial costs will be, and the lighter the environmental burden on our children," President Kagame said.

The 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol continues Friday 14 October for the final day of negotiations after which it is hoped an amendment will be passed.

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  • Read President Kagame’s full statement here and watch here.
  • View and download photos from today’s Opening of the MOP28 High Level Segment here.
  • Watch the Opening of the MOP28 High Level Segment here