Another Climate “Landmark”

The new accord to limit hydrofluorocarbons isn’t a historic achievement—it’s a sham.

In Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday, negotiators concluded a global agreement to limit use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent set of greenhouse gases. The “landmark” deal, if one takes the White House at its word, is a critical step in the fight against climate change. Last year’s “landmark” agreement in Paris placed the world on a path to just 2.7°C of warming; Kigali itself purportedly achieves a 0.5°C reduction. The New York Times reports that Kigali “could have an equal or even greater impact” than the Paris agreement. It would seem that the goal of holding warming to less than 2°C above preindustrial temperatures—considered the “magic number” by climate watchers—is now within reach.

But nobody really believes that.