Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol boasts massive impact in curbing global production and use of dangerous pollutants, paves way for U.S. industry leaders’ competitive advantage on the world stage
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the statement below following the Senate’s approval of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Approved by a 69-27 vote, the Amendment represents a historic step forward in the fight against the climate crisis by phasing down use and production of highly potent greenhouse gas chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and promotes U.S. leadership in the manufacturing sector by improving American businesses’ access to global markets.
“There are a few things we can do in the Senate that can create thousands of jobs, fight the climate crisis, and help us outcompete China. That is precisely what the approval of the Kigali Amendment does and we are all better for it. The approval of the Kigali Amendment is the single most important climate action the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has taken in over thirty years.
“Today’s historic vote is yet another recognition that the climate threat to our planet is real. We see this from the unprecedented floods across Pakistan, to the wildfires in Central Europe and the Western United States. Our nation must continue to position itself to seize the opportunities that lie ahead as we tackle these challenges and meet our responsibilities – not only for future generations but also for the millions of Americans who care about shoring up our competitive advantage in global markets.
“Between approval of Kigali, passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we are showing that the United States government can and must continue to do the work needed to preserve OUR planet in which our grandchildren will flourish. I will continue to use the strength of my voice and the power of my office so Congress builds on this momentum to shift America towards a new, clean, sustainable energy, and a flourishing green economy built on smart growth that benefits all Americans.”
On October 15, 2016, in Kigali, Rwanda, more than 170 countries negotiated an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to include a global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This amendment is referred to as the “Kigali Amendment.”
The Kigali Amendment phases down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have a greenhouse gas potential 8,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, in a swift matter that will make a dramatic dent in U.S. carbon reduction goals. Scientists estimate that, when fully implemented, Kigali will reduce global temperatures by half a degree Celsius by the end of the century. According to industry estimates, Kigali will also generate 33,000 more manufacturing jobs in the United States, representing a total of $4.8 billion annually of increased exports and $12.5 billion of increased economic output per year.
Under the Montreal Protocol, participating countries agreed to replace ozone-depleting products, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), found in refrigerants, aerosols, and solvents. As a result, there has been a 97 percent reduction in the global consumption of controlled ozone-depleting substances—with little, if any, economic disruption. Approval of the “Kigali Amendment” is the fifth suite of technical updates to the Montreal Protocol all of which have enjoyed strong bipartisan support for the past 35 years.