On September 21, 2022, the U.S. Senate voted to ratify the Kigali Amendment, an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that addresses hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), six years after the Kigali Amendment was officially adopted at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on October 15, 2016, in Kigali, Rwanda. While the Montreal Protocol originally sought only to phase out the consumption and production of ozone-depleting substances chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, the Kigali Amendment established plans to reduce the production and consumption of HFCs — greenhouse gases with high global warming potential — by more than 80% over the next few decades.
The Kigali Amendment entered into full force in 2019. As of September 2022, the United States is the 138th country to ratify the amendment, joining other highly industrial countries and jurisdictions such as Canada, Japan, and the European Union. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, phasedown of the production and consumption of HFCs is expected to avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming by 2100.
Even though the United States has only just adopted the Kigali Amendment, it has taken other action to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs. In 2020, Congress passed the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, which similarly seeks to confront climate change by reducing the production and consumption of HFCs by 85% on the same timeline as the one established by the Kigali Amendment. Congress’ vote comes after the Biden administration requested that the Kigali Amendment be ratified in Executive Order 14008 on January 27, 2021.
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