MONTREAL The governments of almost 200 countries have agreed to speed up a plan to eliminate an ozone-depleting substance.
Officials met in Montreal this week to discuss hydrochlorofluorocarbons — or HCFCs — used in home appliances, some refrigeration equipment and air conditioners.
Countries agreed Friday night to freeze production and consumption of HCFCs in 2013 and phase them out by 2030 — 10 years sooner than an earlier agreement.
Environment Minister John Baird says HCFCs damage the ozone layer and contribute to climate change.
Baird says he is proud Canada played a role in the “huge consensus.”
The conference came on the 20th anniversary of what is known as the Montreal Protocol, a United Nations agreement negotiated by 191 countries to cut back on chemicals blamed for destroying the ozone layer.