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Chairman Menendez Statement on SFRC Plans to Take Up Kigali Amendment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement after the White House submitted the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol for the Senate’s Advice and Consent to U.S. accession. The Kigali Amendment is a global agreement for the phasedown on the production and use of chemical Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a family of powerful greenhouse gases, commonly used for refrigeration, air conditioning and as propellants.

“I am committed to advancing the advice and consent process on the Kigali Amendment in the coming months. U.S. accession to the Kigali Amendment is critically important to securing U.S private sector competitiveness in the growing global market for next generation refrigeration and HVAC products, and is an essential and expedient action in the global fight against the climate crisis.

“The fact is this pact entered into force nearly three years ago, the world has begun moving forward on the commercial production and trade of next generation ‘Kigali compliant’ products and the Senate must act quickly to ensure the U.S. private sector does not lose access to a rapidly expanding global market.

“As we begin this process, I have every reason to believe Kigali will receive strong bipartisan support in the Foreign Relations Committee as well as in the full Senate, as it is estimated to help create 33,000 new manufacturing jobs in the United States and is widely supported by industry leaders who recognize the many benefits Kigali will deliver for both the environment and American businesses. I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to bolster U.S. economic interests through the advancement of this critically important international agreement.”

For 34 years, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone has successfully eliminated the use and production of chemicals causing dangerous holes in the ozone layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. Under the Montreal Protocol, HFCs, which have no ozone depleting characteristics but are highly potent greenhouse gases, became the industry standard for chemical refrigerants. Recognizing the risk HFCs posed to global climate change, and the role the Montreal Protocol played in bringing HFCs into the global marketplace, the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to the global phasedown of HFCs in 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda and on January 1, 2019 the Kigali Amendment entered into force. U.S. Corporate and industrial sector support for ratification of the Kigali Amendment includes the National Association of Manufacturers; the U.S Chamber of Commerce; the American Chemistry Council; the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute; and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy.