Sep 21 2022
WASHINGTON – The Senate today passed the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Congress had previously passed legislation based on Sen. John Kennedy’s (R-La.) American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, which requires a 15-year phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at the national level.
“Americans should reap the rewards of American innovation. This amendment will give American manufacturers the ability to continue exporting sustainable coolants and the products that depend on them. Not only does this create tens of thousands of jobs here at home, it protects our markets from becoming a dumping ground for China’s outdated products. Today, the Senate defended U.S. innovation and countered the economic rise of China and other bad actors at a time when American workers and consumers need all the commonsense support they can get,” said Kennedy.
HFCs are the coolants that work in America’s homes and refrigerators. American companies have been at the forefront of developing HFC alternatives for years, and the Kigali Amendment helps promote U.S. leadership in the innovation and manufacturing of these products.
The AIM Act became law with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2020 because transitioning away from HFCs drives more investments in American-made technologies that are better for the environment, cheaper for consumers and good for the economy.
The AIM Act and ratification of Kigali is expected to create 150,000 direct and indirect U.S. jobs, including 33,000 new manufacturing jobs, in places like Louisiana. This will also help protect the more than 1.3 million jobs in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration sector.
Using these next generation coolants is also expected to save American businesses and consumers billions of dollars in energy costs over the next 10 years. This would cut costs for Americans during historic inflation pressures.
More than 130 countries already ratified the Kigali Amendment, which obliges its signers to gradually phase down their HFC usage in the coming decades. China and India are already subject to this phasedown. Without the U.S. ratification of the Kigali Amendment, the international deal signed by a majority of our trading partners would impose trade restrictions between countries that participate in the HFC phasedown agreement and those that do not.
Failing to ratify the Kigali Amendment would have unnecessarily limited the U.S. to fewer trading partners and given its competitors—and adversaries like China—a leg up at the expense of hardworking Americans.
Formalizing America’s support for the Kigali Amendment will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost U.S. exports, strengthen America’s manufacturing industry, lower consumer prices and create more jobs for U.S. workers.