Pallone & Tonko Applaud Ratification of Kigali Amendment, Committing U.S. to Phase Down Dangerous HFCs
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) released the following statement today after the Senate voted to ratify the Kigali Amendment, agreeing to join the international community in its commitment to phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs):
“Ratifying the Kigali Amendment is a historic step forward in our collective fight against climate change, complementing landmark legislation that we enacted last Congress to reduce the use of HFCs. This is a smart, commonsense action that not only protects our environment, but will also ensure the United States maintains its position as a global leader in manufacturing and innovation. American companies are already innovating new substitutes for HFCs and creating new jobs in the process, and today’s ratification bolsters both their efforts and our ability to compete in the global economy. We applaud today’s passage, which builds on the historic climate legislation passed and signed into law last month, and are proud to stand with our international allies in the fight against climate change.”
The Kigali Amendment – a 2016 addition to the Montreal Protocol – is an international agreement to gradually reduce the consumption and production of HFCs, gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning. It is a legally binding agreement that has been ratified or accepted by 138 countries, now including the United States. HFCs are a potent super-pollutant that are up to 10,000 times more damaging than carbon pollution.
In 2020, the Energy and Commerce Committee marked up the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Leadership Act, which directed the Environmental Protection Agency to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs by 85 percent over 15 years. Pallone and Tonko subsequently led the successful effort to enact the legislation into law as part of the fiscal year (FY) 2021 end of year spending package.