Global efforts to reduce super greenhouse gases took a step forward with the announcement this week by the UK Government that it had begun the ratification process for the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
The Kigali Amendment is a landmark agreement adopted in October 2016 to control the consumption and production of climate damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are synthetic chemicals widely used in the cooling industry. They are thousands of times more potent than CO2 but can be replaced by climate-friendly refrigerants such as propane and ammonia.
The Kigali Amendment mandates a global phase-down of HFCs to about 15 per cent of their current levels of consumption.
To date, six countries – Mali, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Rwanda, Palau and Norway – have completed the ratification process.
The EU has already signalled its readiness for formal ratification with a European Council decision in July 2017. However, each EU member state must ratify at national level before the EU as a whole can formally confirm ratification to the United Nations.
The Kigali Amendment will enter into force on January 1, 2019 if at least 20 Parties have ratified. European Union (EU) member states and other developed countries undergo the first control measures, with a 10 per cent reduction in HFC consumption in 2019 followed by a 40 per cent reduction in 2024. Developing countries will begin reducing HFC consumption in 2024.
Implementation of the Kigali Amendment will avoid an estimated 80 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent of emissions by 2050, representing the largest one-off climate mitigation measure ever adopted.
EIA is working to secure even larger emissions reductions through early action, the strengthening of the Amendment over time and measures to improve the energy efficiency of cooling equipment as the transition from HFCs takes place.