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, mandating a 15-year phased phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at the national level.
“Americans should reap the rewards of American innovation. This change gives American manufacturers the ability to continue exporting sustainable refrigerants and the products that depend on them. Not only does this create tens of thousands of jobs here at home, but it protects our markets from becoming a dumping ground for China’s obsolete products. Today the Senate defended US innovation and countered the economic rise of China and other bad actors at a time when American workers and consumers need all the sane support they can get.” said Kennedy.
HFCs are the refrigerants 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 is helping to foster US leadership in innovation and manufacturing of these products.
The AIM Act became law in 2020 with overwhelming bipartisan support because the HFC transition leads to more investment in American-made technologies that are better for the environment, cheaper for consumers and good for the economy.
The AIM Act and Kigali ratification are expected to create 150,000 direct and indirect jobs in the US, including 33,000 new manufacturing jobs, in places like Louisiana. This also secures the more than 1.3 million jobs in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industry.
The use of these next-generation refrigerants is also expected to save American businesses and consumers billions of dollars in energy costs over the next 10 years. This would lower costs for Americans during historic inflationary pressures.
More than 130 countries have already ratified the Kigali Amendment, which requires its signatories to phase out their HFC use over the coming decades. China and India are already subject to this phasedown. Without US ratification of the Kigali Amendment, the international agreement signed by the majority of our trading partners would impose trade restrictions between countries that participate in the HFC Phase-Out Agreement and those that do not.
Not ratifying the Kigali Amendment would have unnecessarily restricted the US to fewer trading partners and given its competitors – and adversaries like China – a head start at the expense of hard-working Americans.
Formal American support for the Kigali Amendment will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, boost US exports, strengthen US manufacturing, lower consumer prices and create more jobs for US workers.