WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement today after the Senate approved the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Passed by a vote of 69 to 27, the amendment represents an historic step forward in the fight against the climate crisis by phasing out the use and production of potent greenhouse gas chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and advances US leadership in the manufacturing sector by improving American companies’ access to global markets.
“There are a few things we can do in the Senate that can create thousands of jobs, fight the climate crisis, and help us outperform China. That’s what the approval of the Kigali Amendment does, and we’re all better off. Approving the Kigali Amendment is the most important climate action taken by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in over thirty years.
“Today’s historic vote is further recognition that the climate threat to our planet is real. We see this from the unprecedented floods across Pakistan to the wildfires in central Europe and the western United States. Our nation must continue to position itself to seize the opportunities that lie ahead as we address these challenges and live up to our responsibilities—not just to future generations, but to the millions of Americans who care about our competitive advantage to strengthen in the global markets.
“Between the approval of Kigali, the passage of the anti-inflation law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we show that the United States government can and must continue to do the work needed to sustain OUR planet where our grandchildren will thrive. I will continue to use the strength of my voice and the power of my office to help Congress build on that momentum to lead America toward a new, clean, sustainable energy and a thriving green economy based on smart growth, all of which Americans benefit.”
Background to the Kigali change:
On October 15, 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, more than 170 countries negotiated an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to include a global phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This change is referred to as the “Kigali Change”.
The Kigali Amendment will reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have 8,000 times the greenhouse gas potential of carbon dioxide, in a fast-moving affair that will dramatically hurt US carbon reduction goals. Scientists estimate that if fully implemented, Kigali will reduce global temperatures by half a degree Celsius by the end of the century. According to industry estimates, Kigali will also create 33,000 additional manufacturing jobs in the United States, totaling $4.8 billion annually in increased exports and $12.5 billion annually in increased economic output.
Background on the Montreal Protocol:
Under the Montreal Protocol, participating countries agreed to replace ozone-depleting products such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) found in refrigerants, aerosols and solvents. As a result, global consumption of controlled ozone-depleting substances has decreased by 97 percent – with little or no economic disruption. The approval of the “Kigali Amendment” is the fifth series of technical updates to the Montreal Protocol, all of which have enjoyed strong bipartisan support over the past 35 years.