December 6, 2022

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President Biden says “Proud to sign Kigali Amendment”

The U.S President Biden has said he is proud to sign the Kigali Amendment- a historic, bipartisan win for American manufacturing and global Climate action.

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is an international agreement to gradually reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons. It is a legally binding agreement designed to create rights and obligations in international law.

Vis his Twitter account, President Biden said “I’m proud to sign the Kigali Amendment – a historic, bipartisan win for American manufacturing and global climate action. My Administration is phasing down super-polluting chemicals so the U.S. can lead the clean technology markets of the future and unlock thousands of new jobs.”

In Sptember, 2022, In a major victory for the planet, the US Senate voted to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down super climate pollutants called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), used primarily as refrigerants in air conditioners and other cooling equipment.

The Kigali Amendment needed the approval of a two-thirds super-majority of the chamber, which it received with the support of 21 Republican and 48 Democratic Senators. It is the first climate treaty to clear the Senate in decades.

Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, said:

“Ratification confirms President Biden’s continuing climate leadership. It also confirms his appreciation of the need for speed to address the climate emergency and the critical role played by cutting HFCs. He and his team know that cutting the short-lived climate pollutants—HFCs, black carbon, methane, and tropospheric ozone—is the only strategy that we are certain can slow warming in the next 20 years.”

“Without the Montreal Protocol civilization would have already completely descended into climate chaos. If ozone-depleting chemicals had not been banned, we would be looking at a global temperature rise of an additional 2.5°C by the end of this century. This would have already pushed our planet past irreversible tipping points. The Kigali Amendment is among our most significant climate wins from the best environmental treaty in the world. US ratification is another huge victory for the planet.” 

“When you line up business goals with environmental goals, you can get bipartisan support at home and North-South support globally for stronger multilateralism. We need to learn from the Montreal Protocol and apply the lessons more broadly to have a fighting chance to keep the climate safe.”

After nearly a decade of talks, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was agreed by the Parties in October 2016 to phase down super polluting HFCs. The Amendment, first championed by the Federated States of Micronesia and other low-lying island states, represents the single biggest piece of climate mitigation to date—and the only piece under a mandatory treaty— with the potential to avoid up to 0.5°C of future warming. Beyond phasing down HFCs, improving the energy efficiency of cooling equipment has the potential to at least double the climate benefits of the Kigali Amendment in the near term.

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