(Washington Examiner) Air conditioners and refrigerators pose as big a threat to “life on the planet” as the threat of terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.

Kerry was in Vienna negotiating a global climate deal to phase out chemicals used as refrigerants in basic household and commercial appliances such as air conditioning and refrigerators, called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The chemicals are a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists blame for contributing to global warming.

Kerry made the remarks as part of a pep talk for negotiators working through the weekend to amend a 1987 treaty called the Montreal Protocol to deal with the chemicals.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.