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Senate Approves Climate Treaty with Bipartisan Support

Ratifying the Kigali Amendment will sharply limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons.    September 29, 2022


By Greg Zimmerman, senior contributing editor


With the goal of phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), commonly used in air conditioners and refrigeration, the Senate voted 69-27 to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. 

The Kigali Amendment compels nations to sharply limit the use of “super-polluting” HFCs. HFCs are much more potent in contributing to climate change than carbon dioxide. The U.S. is the 137th nation to ratify the amendment, according to the Washington Post. The treaty, supported by a wide swath of organizations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the National Association of Manufacturers, gives specific targets and timelines for drawing down HFC use. 

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said in a statement “businesses supported it because it drives American exports; climate advocates championed it because it will avoid up to half a degree of global warming by the end of the century; and world leaders backed it because it ensures strong international cooperation.” 

In 2020, Congress passed a bill directing the Environmental Protection Agency begin significantly reducing HFCs. And in 2021, the Biden Administration announced plans to reduce HFC use by 85 percent over the next 15 years. 

Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine. 

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