U.S. Capitol building in Washington

Amendment to a global treaty to cut greenhouse gas passed U.S. Senate

Two-thirds of the U.S. Senate voted to approve the so-called Kigali Amendment to cut HFCs gases. It will improve the global environmental treaty known as Montreal Protocol. The envoys recommended ratification of the Kigali Amendment that would gradually limit the emissions of critical greenhouse gasses, such as HFCs gases, that contribute to climate change.

The votes in the U.S. Senate for Kigali Amendment to cut HFCs gases were 69-27 in favor to ratify an amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Montreal Protocol aims to cut the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are major greenhouse gas, and their cutting is a key step in combating climate change.

The amendment they voted for, the Kigali amendment, appeals to gradually diminishing HFCs gases used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and in refrigeration (HVACR).

Kigali Amendment and diminishing HFCs gases

Researches show HFC gases are significantly more harmful to global warming than carbon dioxide (CO2). It also shows that if the amendment is globally implemented, that will prevent at least half degree Celsius rise in warming by the end of this century.

The amendment provides targets and timetables to replace HFCs with climate-friendly alternatives. Also, it provides the countries that have ratified the Montreal Protocol and its amendments to restrict their trade with such substances. Restriction of the trade refers to both states that have ratified the amendment and those that haven’t.

A win-win situation for climate and economy

John Kerry on reducing CO2 emissions in Africa's gas plants
John Kerry was working on Kigali Amendment in Rwanda in 2016

The Inflation Reduction Act passed Congress vote last month. Together with the passing of the Kigali Amendment, it will be a strong statement and firm step the U.S. took in solving climate problems.

This result in the U.S. Senate is due to the activities of John Kerry, special envoy on climate change and former secretary of state, to cut HFCs gases. He helped the talks on the amendment in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2016.

According to the senators, this step is in favor of the combat against climate change due to rising temperatures.

Also, it will create tens of thousands of well-paid jobs for American citizens. HVACR manufacturers had supported ratification of the amendment. They confirm that ratification will create jobs. It will keep the sector competitive worldwide due to cutting HFCs gases.