The U.S. Joins Kigali Amendment to Combat Climate Change
All about the Kigali Amendment, HFCs, the Montreal Protocol and goals to reduce climate change.
Photo Source: NOAA
Climate change is an ongoing battle that the world is trying to combat, and the United States recently took a step forward to reduce greenhouse gases with senate ratification of the Kigali Amendment on Sept. 21, 2022.
This treaty intends to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used as industrial refrigerants and in sprayable consumer products, according to The Atlantic. Although HFCs are used as replacements of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases, according to UNIDO.
Finalized in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2016, the Kigali Amendment is an update to the Montreal Protocol. The original goal of this protocol was to eliminate CFCs, which destroy the ozone layer, and CFCs were successfully phased out as a result, according to The Atlantic.
This new amendment is aimed to target greenhouse gases instead. According to UNIDO, the goal is to reduce more than 80% of HFCs by 2047 and avoid up to 0.5°C increase in global temperature by the end of the century. But how effective will this be in comparison to the total temperature increase?
A new United Nations climate change report supports a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by countries, but estimates about a 2.5°C increase in global temperature by the end of the century. This is more than the 1.5°C increase predicted by the Paris Agreement.
However, the more countries that adapt the Kigali Amendment, the more likely it is for the estimated warming to slightly drop. This amendment status update by the United Nations Treaty Collection shares every country that has adapted the amendment since 2016, totaling 143 parties to date.
In addition to a decrease in warming, the amendment is expected to have economical benefits in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of State, it is estimated to create about 33,000 new manufacturing jobs and generate $12.5 billion in investments in the next decade with the U.S. industry as a global leader in the development of HFC alternatives.
Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of State, the Montreal Protocol is “expected to restore the stratospheric ozone layer by 2065, avoiding 443 million cases of skin cancer, approximately 2.3 million skin cancer deaths, and more than 63 million cases of cataracts in the U.S. alone, with even greater benefits worldwide.”
On Oct. 26, 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Kigali Amendment and made U.S. involvement official. “Ratifying the Kigali Amendment will allow us to lead the clean technology markets of the future, by innovating and manufacturing those technologies here in America. Ratification will spur the growth of manufacturing jobs, strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and advance the global effort to combat the climate crisis,” said Biden in his statement on Sept. 21.
The amendment has many goals, most importantly to reduce climate change and greenhouse gases, and hopefully these goals come to fruition.
Ariana for the Don’t Count Us Out Yet Team