Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate voted to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a global agreement to phase down powerful climate-polluting hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. HFCs are synthetic chemicals used primarily in cooling, thousands of times more potent than CO2.
“This is a historic bipartisan victory. It’s been long overdue for the United States to unequivocally join the rest of the world in eliminating these man-made super pollutants. However, the real work ahead is actually realizing the promised climate benefits of the Kigali Amendment through robust implementation and enforcement,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, Climate Campaign Lead, Environmental Investigation Agency.
“With rising global temperatures, demand for cooling is only going to further increase. We have an obligation and an opportunity to transition the cooling industry out of its planet damaging past.”
EIA has campaigned at the Montreal Protocol for more than a decade to prevent and eliminate the use of HFCs. EIA investigations have exposed how illegal production and use of climate damaging and ozone depleting coolants globally and their rampant leaks from U.S. supermarkets.
“We celebrate this moment, but also recognize that the job is not done. We urge the U.S. and other countries at the Montreal Protocol to continue moving the dialogue towards the future acceleration or a deeper phase-down in these super pollutant chemicals,” said Christina Starr, Senior Policy Analyst, EIA.
The Kigali Amendment mandates a global phase down in HFC consumption by 85% and will avoid more than 70 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent HFC emissions by 2050 globally. The country will join the 137 other nations which have already signed onto the agreement, including Europe, China, and India. The U.S. has already begun to implement the Kigali Amendment under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. Ratification will now make the U.S. a formal party to the agreement, making its compliance with the agreement legally binding.