John Kerry
John KerryReuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry equated green-house gas emissions with the threat posed by Islamic terror groups like ISIS, the Washington Examiner reported, saying the effort to restrict such emissions was equally important to the anti-terror efforts now being undertaken in the wake of deadly attacks across the West.

Speaking at a conference in Vienna on Friday, the Secretary said the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – a chemical compound used as a coolant – needed to be phased out, noting its effects on global warming.

Kerry went on to compare the effort to limit the use of HFCs to the fight against ISIS.

“As we were working together on the challenge of [ISIS] and terrorism,” said Kerry. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we–you–are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”

The meeting in Vienna was convened to amend the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The Montreal Protocol, an international agreement which limited the use of certain substances, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as refrigerants due to their negative effects on the ozone layer, led to the increased use of alternative coolants, such as HFCs.

While HFCs do not harm the ozone layer, they increase the green-house effect scientists believe has led to accelerated global warming.

Signatories to the 1987 Protocol are weighing the expansion of the agreement, to include a phase-out of HFCs, a move that would impact the use of air conditioners, refrigerators, and inhaler devices.