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Deal on greenhouse gases OK’d

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) – Nations have reached a deal 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, have been 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.

The agreement announced Saturday morning, after all-night negotiations, caps and reduces the use of HFCs in a gradual process beginning in 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 in 2024.

A small group of countries including India, Pakistan and some Gulf states pushed for and secured a later start in 2029, saying their economies need more time to grow. That’s two years earlier than India, the world’s third worst polluter, had first proposed.