Tag Archives: earth

RESIST: People’s Climate March set for April 29

Climate activists have announced a major People’s Climate March on April 29 in Washington, D.C., and solidarity marches the country.

The effort is being organized by the coalition formed out of 2014’s People’s Climate March, which brought more than 400,000 people to the streets of New York City and many more around the world.

The April 29 march comes in response to outrage against President Donald Trump’s anti-climate agenda, including his executive orders advancing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.

“The climate crisis is an outcome of the long term disinvestment of low-income communities, and low-income communities of color,” said Rae Breaux, lead climate justice organizer for People’s Action Institute.

“President Trump’s First 100 Days plan is a clear sign that he will fast-track profits for corporations before he invests in the needs of the American people. Now is the time to come together and build an economy where investments are made to benefit workers, communities of color and low-income folks – an economy that is structured to reflect the fact that black, brown and indigenous lives matter,” she continued.

The People’s Climate Movement grew out of the largest climate march in U.S. history in New York in September 2014, creating a coalition of green and environmental justice groups, labor unions, faith, students, indigenous peoples and civil rights groups working to advance a climate agenda rooted in economic and racial justice.

Here’s what others are saying about climate action and standing up to Trump:

Jeremiah Lowery, environmental justice organizer, Washington, D.C.: “As a community member of the frontline, we must not be forgotten. The next 100 days are critical. Trump’s policies will have devastating impact on communities directly impacted by climate change. Supporting local organizing efforts will be important in any effort to stop Trump’s attack on our environment, health, and ultimately collective well-being”

Denise Abdul-Rahman, NAACP Indiana executive board member: “The NAACP mantra is about advocating for civil rights. Our grassroots based organization has injected civil disobedience to oppose the current attorney general appointee, we are asserting our voices and calling for a more just and inclusive policies and appointees. We are strategizing at local, state and federal level to curtail the oppressive policies espoused by the Koch Brothers and Alec. These are policies that disproportionately impact our communities, such as criminal justice, voting rights, jobs, women’s rights, health care, climate and education. We are with the People, and the People’s Climate Movement.”

The Rev. Leo Woodbury, Kingdom Living Temple in Florence, South Carolina: “President Trump’s issuing of executive orders rolling back President Obama’s climate agenda in his first days of office and his efforts at dismantling the EPA is a serious threat to our communities. In South Carolina and across the country, communities of color and low-income people are on the front-lines of the climate crisis and we need to fight back. This year we are rebuilding our church for the second time in two years due to flooding from storms that were stronger due to climate change. In our communities, and others across the country, people are dealing with wells and drinking water contaminated with human waste, pesticides and toxic chemicals due to overflow from storms that are stronger than ever before as a result of global warming.  We need to come together under the People’s Climate Movement banner in Washington, D.C. on April 29 to say we are fighting for our planet and our communities.”

Angela Adrar, executive director, Climate Justice Alliance: “For the next 100 days and as long as it will take, the Climate Justice Alliance is standing side by side across the U.S. in unity with the people — in defiance of those who want to divide us. Women of color will not be sacrificed, our communities will not be sacrificed — now is the time to fight for climate justice as it is key to our liberation and justice for all. Defenders of water, land, air, food, our bodies, and homes will unite across struggles to grow the resistance. Inauguration was just the beginning of a social movement uprising that is making Her-story.”

Aura Vasquez, director of climate justice, Center for Popular Democracy: “Around the country and the world, we agreed that climate change is real and affects those most vulnerable. We cannot afford to continue polluting our air and water. Our families deserve a healthy environment to live in. CPD is committed to continue pushing for climate justice with some of the strongest grassroots organizations in the country. We can’t back down now. We need climate solutions that protect the most vulnerable from climate change-related damage while finding viable solutions to our current climate crisis.”

Michelle Suarez, Florida Institute for Reform and Empowerment (FIRE):  “As the climate crisis worsens, it’s clear that women, children, indigenous nations, low-income and communities of color must lead the way. Marginalized communities can no longer be ignored, instead, real solutions must come from more intentional relationships with one another, an intersectional approach as we empower, educate, and mobilize towards ensuring more resilient communities, justice and equity for all.”

Chloe Jackson,Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment: “Communities across the country have been working for environmental and social justice for centuries. Now it’s time for our struggles to unite and work together across borders to fight racism, sexism, xenophobia, and environmental destruction. We have a lot of work to do, and we are stronger together. Our vision for a better future can be achieved if we join hands in this struggle and support each other.”

Mark Magaña, president and CEO, GreenLatinos: “Latino communities and GreenLatinos members across this country will stand together with the People’s Climate Movement and lift our voices for justice; the right to clean air and clean water; the right to a healthy, clean, and protected environment; the right to live. Latinos have a culture that is grounded in environmentalism and conservationism. It is a way of being for our community, and it is in our DNA. GreenLatinos members from across the country will join the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC on April 29th to bring that collective culture and wisdom to bare on the most anti-environment administration and Congress in generations.”

Jamie Henn, 350.org strategic communications director: “As Trump’s corrupt cabinet presents a dark and divisive vision for our world, we envision a world powered by renewable energy with an economy that works for all of us. For too long, a small few have exploited people and planet all in the name of profit. Now, we all must come together to fight for the world we know is possible.”

Dr. Rachel Cleetus, Union of Concerned Scientists: “Climate change is contributing to an increase in extreme weather disasters. We’re seeing more rains that come as deluges, stronger North Atlantic hurricanes, worsening droughts and heat waves, and a longer, more severe Western wildfire season. When disaster strikes, we see the same old pattern: low-income and minority communities are hit harder than others and have a much harder time recovering.”

Patrick Carolan, executive director, Franciscan Action Network: “Pope Francis, in his encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si, calls on “every person living on this planet” (LS#3) to “move forward in a bold cultural revolution.” (LS#114) It is our moral responsibility to enter in to dialogue with political and faith leaders and ardently work to care for our common home.”

Dominique Browning, Moms Clean Air Force: “We represent a million moms—and dads—from across the country. Republican and Democrat, we want to see action to cut the carbon and methane emissions that are changing our climate to so dangerously, and so rapidly. Climate change threatens the health of our children. We are ready to march, to show elected officials that we expect them to respect science, respect medicine, and do the right thing.”

Karina Castillo, Miami-based meteorologist and Moms Clean Air Force Organizer: “In Florida, Latinas understand that climate change is a major threat to our health, our livelihood, and our future. Our families and communities are on the line. We are going to make that loud and clear.”

Kieran Suckling, executive director, Center for Biological Diversity: “From coast-to-coast, we’ve seen a massive movement building to resist Trump and any policies that would hurt wildlife, marginalize entire classes of people and drive the climate deeper into crisis,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, which just completed its 16-city Earth2Trump tour across the country. “People from all walks of life, are speaking with a single voice of resistance against Trump and his corrupt agenda to gut climate progress and dig fossil fuels from the ground. It’s a powerful movement that will show its mighty political force at the People’s Climate March in 2017 and over the next four years.”

Margrete Strand Rangnes, Public Citizen: “Despite the Trump Administration’s insistence to bury its head in the sand and deny the overwhelming scientific evidence, climate change is real and is impacting people’s lives. Moving away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and renewable energy will not only lower energy prices for consumers, but also save lives and improve the health of people and communities”

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune: “On April 29th, it’s going to be much clearer to Donald Trump that he won’t drag America or the world backwards on climate without the fight of his life. Our planet is in crisis, and voices from around the nation must and will be heard.”

Eva Lin (18 years old), Alliance for Climate Education fellow: “As a young person, a woman, and an immigrant, Trump’s presidency threatens my future career as an environmental activist, my bodily autonomy, and my right to simply exist in this country.”

Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters: “The Trump administration’s agenda for the environment is a polluter’s dream. It’s one of the most dangerous we’ve seen yet. We must fight back — but it’s going to take all of us.”

Ernesto Vargas, League of Conservation Voters: “We must grow the resistance to this administration’s disregard for our climate and our communities. We must organize to guarantee that the political power of communities of color is seen, heard and felt at the White House.”

Alexa Aispuro,  League of Conservation Voters: “As a young woman, I believe now more than ever our communities are ready to stand up for Mother Earth. I want to ensure that future generations have access to clean air and water, hope for curbing climate change. That’s why I look forward to joining the April 29th march and encouraging others in my state and around the country to do the same.”

Mike Tidwell, Chesapeake Climate Action Network: “This morning, Trump made clear that he is putting pipelines over people. We want to make clear: We will never stop fighting. In Trump’s first 100 days of office, we will continue mobilizing a historic movement to protect our water, our climate, and our communities.”

Earth to Trump: Environmentalists begin cross-country roadshow tour

Hundreds of people in Oakland and Seattle this week kicked off the cross-country Earth2Trump roadshow.

The two-route, 16-stop tour will build a network of resistance against President-elect Donald Trump’s attacks on the environment and civil rights.

The shows include live music, national and local speakers and a chance for participants to write personalized Earth2Trump messages that will be delivered to Washington, D.C., on inauguration day Jan. 20.

The Center for Biological Diversity is organizing the shows in coordination with groups around the country.

“This wave of resistance against Trump is only starting to build. What we saw in Oakland and Seattle will continue to grow bigger and stronger in the coming weeks,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the center.

He added, “And after Trump is in office, we’ll be there every day to oppose every policy that hurts wildlife, poisons our air and water, destroys our climate, promotes racism, misogyny or homophobia, or marginalizes entire segments of our society.”

The shows in Seattle and Oakland featured Hawaiian singer Makana, Brazilian funk band Namorados da Lua and singer/songwriters Dana Lyons and Casey Neill.

Attendees also signed a pledge of resistance and added their personal messages into large globes bound for D.C.

“I’m so inspired by the outpouring of empowerment and resistance we’re already seeing,” said Valerie Love, one of the Earth2Trump organizers who spoke at Oakland’s event. “When we come together and speak with a single voice, we become a force that can stand up and defend our environment, civil rights and democracy.”

Next stops
The central tour travels by train. One stop, in Portland, Oregon, featured Portland singer Mic Crenshaw and American Indian storyteller Si Matta, who was part of the water-protector occupation at Standing Rock.

The southern tour that began in Oakland will be in Los Angeles on Thursday from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at Global Beat Multicultural Center. The show features Los Angeles Poet Laureate Luis Rodriguez and musicians Casey Neill and Allyah.

See a map of the tour and more details at www.Earth2Trump.org.

Follow the tour on social media with #Earth2Trump and on the Center’s Medium page.

DNR deletes from website references to human role in climate change

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has quietly removed language from its website that said humans and greenhouse gases are the main cause of climate change.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the website now says the cause of climate change is debatable.

Gone are sentences attributing global warming to human activities and rising carbon dioxide levels.

DNR spokesman James Dick says the new wording reflects the agency’s position on the topic and that climate change causes are still being debated and researched.

The vast majority of scientists agree burning fossil fuels has increased greenhouse gases and caused warming. A 2014 United Nations report found human influence on climate is clear.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker controls the DNR. He has been critical of President Barack Obama’s climate change initiatives.

 

Cheetah in danger of extinction due to habitat loss

The world’s fastest land animal, the cheetah, is in danger of extinction because it is running out of space, research led by the Zoological Society of London has found.

After a sharp decline in numbers there are now just 7,100 cheetahs in the world, or 9 percent of the historic range, the ZSL, Wildlife Conservation Society and Panthera study found.

In Zimbabwe, the study found, these pressures have seen the cheetah population plummet 85 percent from 1,200 to at most 170 animals in just 16 years.

Wildlife experts are calling for the big cat to be rated “endangered,” up from “vulnerable” among threatened species, to give it greater environmental protection.

Capable of sprinting up to 75 miles per hour in short bursts, the cheetah is notoriously secretive and information on its status had been difficult to gather, meaning its predicament had been overlooked, the study said.

“Our findings show that the large space requirements for cheetah, coupled with the complex range of threats faced by the species in the wild, mean that it is likely to be much more vulnerable to extinction than was previously thought,” said Dr Sarah Durant, who is leading the cheetah conservation programme.

The study said that cheetahs were vulnerable to several dangers such as prey loss due to overhunting, habitat loss and illegal trafficking. Added to that, more than three-quarters of cheetahs live outside protected wildlife areas and, because they roam wide, are more vulnerable.

Great Barrier Reef sees record coral deaths this year

Warming oceans this year have caused the largest die-off of corals ever recorded on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, scientists said this week.

The worst-affected area is a 700-kilometer (400-mile) swath in the north of the World Heritage-listed 2,300-kilometer (1,400-mile) chain of reefs off Australia’s northeast coast, said the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

The center, based at James Cook University in Queensland state, found during dive surveys in October and November that the swath north of Port Douglas had lost an average of 67 percent of its shallow-water corals in the past nine months.

Farther south, over the vast central and southern regions that cover most of the reef, scientists found a much lower death toll.

The central region lost 6 percent of bleached coral and the southern region only 1 percent.

“The mortality we’ve measured along the length of the Great Barrier Reef is incredibly patchy,” the center’s director, Terry Hughes, told reporters. “There’s very severe damage in the northern section of the reef.”

“The good news is that south of Port Douglas, including the major tourist areas around Cairns and the Whitsundays (Whitsunday Islands), have had relatively low levels of mortality,” he added.

The governments of Australia and Queensland will update the UNESCO World Heritage Center this week on progress being made to protect and improve the reef, including their response to coral bleaching.

Providing a status update to the World Heritage Committee was required as part of its decision in June last year not to list the reef as “in danger.”

Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg said Tuesday that the reef’s coral cover had increased by 19 percent in recent years before it suffered a “significant bleaching event” this year, caused by the El Nino weather effect and climate change.

“What that shows is that the Great Barrier Reef is very resilient and quite strong,” Frydenberg’s office said in a statement.

The governments plan to spend 2 billion Australian dollars ($1.5 billion) over the next decade on improving the reef’s health.

Hughes said the coral death rates in the north would likely make the task of keeping the reef off the “in danger” list much harder.

“In its ongoing dialogue with UNESCO, Australia has said the outstanding universal values of reef are in tact because of the pristine condition of the northern reef. That’s simply no longer the case,” Hughes said.

Researcher Andrew Baird said the 2016 coral die-off was “substantially worse” than the previous worst-ever event in 1998.

“The proportion of reefs that were severely affected was much, much higher,” Baird said, adding that he did not have precise figures immediately available.

The 1998 event was restricted to in-shore reefs around the Queensland coastal city of Townsville, while the 2016 destruction affected a much larger area, he said.

Scientists expect that the northern region will take at least 10 to 15 years to regain the lost corals. They are concerned that another bleaching event could interrupt that recovery.

There have been three extreme mass bleaching events in 18 years on the reef. In each case, the areas that suffered the worst bleaching were where the water was hottest for the longest period of time.

Reef tourism operator Craig Stephen did not expect the dead coral would diminish visitors’ experience of one of Australia’s biggest tourist drawcards.

“The patchiness of the bleaching means that we can still provide our customers with a world-class coral reef experience by taking them to reefs that are still in top condition,” Stephen said in a statement.

Graeme Kelleher, who headed the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for 16 years, said last week that Australians must not buy the “political lie” that they can have the reef as well as major coal mines nearby.

“We’ve lost 50 percent of the coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef in the last 30 years and the main cause of that is the burning of fossil fuel. I sincerely hope UNESCO rejects the claim that the government is doing enough,” Kelleher said.

Secretary Kerry: Obama’s climate change targets won’t be reversed

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a stirring appeal on Nov. 16 to all countries — including his own — to press ahead with the fight against climate change, saying a failure to do so would be a “betrayal of devastating consequences.”

Without mentioning Donald Trump by name, Kerry’s speech at the U.N. climate talks was partly aimed at the Republican president-elect who has called global warming a “hoax” and has pledged to “cancel” the Paris deal limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

“No one has the right to make decisions that affect billions of people based solely on ideology or without proper input,” Kerry said.

With 2016 on track to be the hottest year on record, Kerry said the impacts of global warming are now evident across the world with record-breaking droughts, rising sea levels, unusual storms and millions of people displaced by weather events.

“At some point even the strongest skeptic has to acknowledge that something disturbing is happening,” he said.

The U.S. election outcome has created deep uncertainty about the U.S. role in international climate talks — and about the Paris Agreement adopted last year by more than 190 countries. But Kerry said the U.S. was already in the midst of a clean energy transition that would continue regardless of policy-making.

“I can tell you with confidence that the United States is right now today on our way to meeting all of the international targets we have set,” Kerry said. “Because of the market decisions that are being made, I do not believe that that can or will be reversed.”

The Obama administration pledged during the Paris negotiations to reduce U.S. emissions by 26-28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Bill Hare, director of the Climate Analytics research group, said the U.S. in on the right path toward meeting its target “but a bit more is needed to get there.”

He said if Trump dismantles Obama policies such as the Climate Action Plan and Clean Power Plan, then U.S. emissions would stay at current levels instead of decrease.

Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton White House climate adviser, said clean energy and efficiency investments by U.S. businesses and consumers are likely to keep American emissions falling overall.

However, he added that “most analysts believe it will take additional government policies that Trump is highly unlikely to pursue to meet the sharper emissions cuts the U.S. has pledged by 2025 under the Paris agreement.”

Kerry said an “overwhelming majority” of Americans know that climate change is happening and support the U.S. commitments under the Paris deal.

Falling short in the fight against climate change would be a “moral failure, a betrayal of devastating consequences,” he said.

Kerry said climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue and noted that military and intelligence leaders have recognized its potential as a “threat-multiplier.”

He asked leaders in all parts of the world, “including my own,” to inform themselves about climate change by talking to scientists, economists, business leaders and other experts.

“I ask you on behalf of billions of people around the world … do your own diligence before making irrevocable choices,” he said.

Study predicts deserts in Spain if global warming continues

Southern Spain will become desert and deciduous forests will vanish from much of the Mediterranean basin unless global warming is reined in sharply, according to a new study.

Researchers used historical data and computer models to forecast the likely impact of climate change on the Mediterranean region, based on the targets for limiting global warming 195 countries agreed to during a summit in France last year.

“The Paris Agreement says it’s necessary to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), if possible 1.5 degrees,” Joel Guiot, a researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research in France who co-wrote the study, said. “That doesn’t seem much to people, but we wanted to see what the difference would be on a sensitive region like the Mediterranean.”

The authors examined the environmental changes the Mediterranean has undergone during the last 10,000 years, using pollen records to gauge the effect that temperatures had on plant life.

They came up with four scenarios pegged to different concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Three of the scenarios are already widely used by scientists to model future climate change, while the fourth was designed to predict what would happen if global warming remains at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius this century.

The fourth scenario is particularly ambitious because average global temperatures have already risen by 1 degree Celsius since pre-industrial times. It is, however, the only one under which Mediterranean basin ecosystems would remain within the range of changes seen in the past 10,000 years, the researchers found.

At the other extreme — the scenario in which global warming hits 2 degrees — deserts would expand in Spain, North Africa and the Near East, while vegetation in the region would undergo a significant change from the coasts right up to the mountains, the study states.

The region is considered a hotspot for biodiversity and its landscape also has long been cultivated by humans, making it a particularly interesting case study for the researchers, whose work was published online in the journal Science.

“Climate has always been important there,” said Guiot, noting that several civilizations — from the ancient Egyptians to the Greeks and the Romans — emerged around the Mediterranean over the past millennia.

While their demise probably resulted from social and political changes, climate conditions may have played a role in the past and could do so again in the future, he said.

Current flows of migrants are being driven largely by political unrest, but prolonged periods of drought could spark mass migrations of people due to climate change, Guiot said.

The researchers acknowledged that their study did not factor in the environmental impact of human activity in the Mediterranean basin. Some areas already are experiencing severe water shortages made worse by intensive agriculture and tree clearance.

“If anything, human action will exacerbate what the study projects, and it could turn out to be too optimistic,” Guiot said.

The Paris climate agreement comes into effect next week.

 

Wind could power 20 percent of world’s electric by 2030

Wind power could supply as much as 20 percent of the world’s total electricity by 2030 due to dramatic cost reductions and pledges to curb climate change, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a report released in Beijing on Tuesday.

If last year’s Paris climate accord leads to a worldwide commitment to the decarbonization of the electricity sector, total wind power capacity could reach as much as 2,110 gigawatts (GW) by then, nearly five times its current level, the industry group said.

Such an increase in capacity would involve annual investment of 200 billion euros ($224 billion) and would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3.3 billion tonnes per year, it said.

It forecast that China’s share of the total would reach 666.5 GW, more than quadrupling its current capacity.

The group said total global wind power installations stood at 433 GW by the end of last year, up 17 percent from a year earlier, and are set to rise by around 60 GW in 2016.

Much of the increase was driven by China, which accounted for 145.4 GW at the end of 2015, 33.6 percent of the total. China built 30.8 GW of new wind power capacity over the year, the highest annual addition by any country, the wind council said.

But the pace of capacity additions could fall in 2016, with China still struggling to find enough transmission capacity to take on the huge numbers of new turbines being built.

China’s energy regulator said in July that 21 percent of all wind-generated electricity was wasted in the first half of the year, due also to slowing electricity demand growth as well as the completion of new coal-fired power plants, which made it harder for wind projects to access the grid.

Wasted power – known as curtailment – stood at more than 40 percent in the distant northwestern provinces of Gansu and Xinjiang, where grid capacity is relatively weak, the regulator said.

The wind council said curtailment remained a “major challenge” for China, but the situation was likely to improve over the medium term as regulators work to solve the transmission bottlenecks.

Global deal reached to limit powerful greenhouse gases

Nearly 200 nations have reached a deal, announced this weekend, to limit the use of greenhouse gases far more powerful than carbon dioxide in a major effort to fight climate change.

The talks on hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, were called the first test of global will since the historic Paris Agreement to cut carbon emissions was reached last year. HFCs are described as the world’s fastest-growing climate pollutant and are used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Experts say cutting them is the fastest way to reduce global warming.

President Barack Obama, in a statement Saturday, called the new deal “an ambitious and far-reaching solution to this looming crisis.” The spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it “critically important.”

The agreement, unlike the broader Paris one, is legally binding. It caps and reduces the use of HFCs in a gradual process beginning by 2019 with action by developed countries including the United States, the world’s second-worst polluter. More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world’s top carbon emitter, will start taking action by 2024, when HFC consumption levels should peak.

A small group of countries including India, Pakistan and some Gulf states pushed for and secured a later start in 2028, saying their economies need more time to grow. That’s three years earlier than India, the world’s third-worst polluter, had first proposed.

“It’s a very historic moment, and we are all very delighted that we have come to this point where we can reach a consensus and agree to most of the issues that were on the table,” said India’s chief delegate, Ajay Narayan Jha.

Environmental groups had hoped that the deal could reduce global warming by a half-degree Celsius by the end of this century. This agreement gets about 90 percent of the way there, said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.

Zaelke’s group said this is the “largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement.”

The new agreement is “equal to stopping the entire world’s fossil-fuel CO2 emissions for more than two years,” David Doniger, climate and clean air program director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

It is estimated that the agreement will cut the global levels of HFCs by 80 to 85 percent by 2047, the World Resources Institute said in a statement.

Experts said they hope that market forces will help speed up the limits agreed to in the deal.

HFCs were introduced in the 1980s as a substitute for ozone-depleting gases. But their danger has grown as air conditioner and refrigerator sales have soared in emerging economies like China and India. HFCs are also found in inhalers and insulating foams.

Major economies have debated how quickly to phase out HFCs. The United States, whose delegation was led by Secretary of State John Kerry, and Western countries want quick action. Nations such as India want to give their industries more time to adjust.

“Thank God we got to this agreement that is good for all nations, that takes into consideration all regional and national issues,” said Taha Mohamed Zatari, the head of Saudi Arabia’s negotiating team.

Small island states and many African countries had pushed for early timeframes, saying they face the biggest threat from climate change.

“It may not be entirely what the islands wanted, but it is a good deal,” Mattlan Zackhras, the minister-in-assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands, said in a statement. “We all know we must go further, and we will go further.”

The U.N. says the next meeting in 2017 will determine how much of the billions of dollars needed to finance the reduction of HFCs will be provided by countries.

HFCs are less plentiful than carbon dioxide, but Kerry said last month that they currently emit as much pollution as 300 coal-fired power plants each year. That amount will rise significantly over the coming decades as air conditioning units and refrigerators reach hundreds of millions of new people.

HFCs don’t harm the ozone layer like chlorofluorocarbons and similar gases that were eliminated under the 1987 Montreal Protocol. The entire world ratified that agreement, helping to repair holes in the ozone that helps shield the planet from the harmful rays of the sun. The aim of this meeting was to attach an amendment to that treaty dealing specifically with HFCs.

“This is about much more than the ozone layer and HFCs. It is a clear statement by all world leaders that the green transformation started in Paris is irreversible and unstoppable,” Erik Solheim, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said in a statement.

Environmental groups were already turning attention Saturday to other greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

“Acting on HFCs does not exempt us from acting on CO2 or other important greenhouse gases like methane. We emit considerably more carbon, and it lingers in the atmosphere for more than 500 years,” Carol Werner, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, said in a statement.