Senator Carper’s American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act) – now law – will help our planet avoid half a degree Celsius in global warming while creating 150,000 new jobs
SUMMARY OF THE AIM ACT FOUND HERE.
- SECTION BY SECTION OF THE AIM ACT AND OTHER CARPER CLIMATE ACTIONS IN H.R.133, CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 2021, FOUND HERE.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face. The science is clear and the warnings are stark. If left unchecked, climate change will take a devastating toll on human life and the global economy in the years to come. The world’s leading scientists have warned that humanity must limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. As the top Democratic member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Carper is leading efforts in Congress to pass meaningful climate legislation to help address the climate crisis.
In the 116th Congress, Senator Carper secured one of the biggest climate wins ever in Congress, by passing the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, known as the AIM Act. The AIM Act– which is now law – gives EPA the authority to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are a climate superpollutant and most often used in our refrigerators and air conditioners to cool our food and homes. This is the first time ever Congress has approved of a long-term phase down of a greenhouse gas. The legislation will enable the United States to join the rest of the world in phasing down HFCs on the timelines set by the Montreal Protocol, which cumulatively is expected to mitigate half degree Celsius of global warming.
The United States is already a leader in manufacturing HFC-alternative technology because of early investments made in this country to meet global agreements. In October 2016, the Montreal Protocol was amended, through what is called the Kigali Amendment, to implement a global phasedown of HFCs in order to limit harmful greenhouse gas emissions. On January 27, 2021, President Biden sent the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to the Senate for ratification.
Below, learn more about the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, Senator Carper’s legislation – now law – that will enable the United States to meet the HFC phasedown timelines set by the Kigali Amendment.
THE AMERICAN INNOVATION AND MANUFACTURING (AIM) ACT
Several potent greenhouse gases are driving global warming, including hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. HFCs are primarily used in refrigeration and air conditioning applications. HFCs have a very high global warming potential, with some being tens of thousands of times worse for our climate than carbon dioxide. HFCs are building up rapidly in the atmosphere at a faster rate each year as demand for refrigeration and air conditioning surges in an increasingly warming planet. For years, Senator Carper has attempted to pass federal legislation to phase down HFCs.
In 2018, then-EPW Ranking Member Carper first introduced the AIM Act along with Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisiana). This bipartisan legislation – now law – authorizes EPA to implement an 85 percent phasedown of the production and consumption of HFCs over the next 15 years. After a historic information gathering session in March 2020 on the AIM Act by the Environment and Public Works Committee, in which over 100 testimonies were received, Senator Carper and Senator Kennedy worked with then-EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) to address raised concerns with the legislation. After months of negotiations, Senators Carper, Kennedy and Barrasso released a bipartisan agreement that addressed the chairman’s concerns without weakening any of the environmental or economic benefits.
“HFCs can be found in nearly every home in America. They are the coolants and refrigerants used in air conditioning and refrigerators. But while HFCs keep our homes cool and our groceries cold, they heat up our planet with a global warming effect thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. The good news, though, is that the next generation of climate-friendly HFC replacements are already being made in America and sold throughout the world. The AIM Act will help us seize the opportunity that comes with building on those investments,” Senator Carper said when Congress passed the AIM Act. “By joining the rest of the world to phase down these potent greenhouse gases, the U.S. will reap nearly $39 billion in annual economic benefits while helping the planet avoid a half degree Celsius in global warming. The AIM Act will ensure American workers and businesses lead the nationwide phase down of these potent greenhouse gases, and that American industries lead the global market in HFC-alternatives. At the same time, it will help to protect and create hundreds of thousands of American jobs. This is a big deal for our economy and our planet.”
THE AIM ACT: CREATING JOBS BY TACKLING THE CLIMATE CRISIS
By enabling the U.S. to join the rest of the world in phasing down HFCs, Senator Carper’s AIM Act – now law – will help our planet avoid half a degree Celsius in global warming.
At the same time, global markets are moving away from HFCs now that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol requires their phasedown. American companies have already invested billions of dollars to produce and sell the next generation replacement refrigerants. The AIM Act will support U.S. industries already making the next generation of HFC-alternatives, which employ more than 593,000 Americans.
NOW LAW, THE AIM ACT WILL:
- Create 150,000 direct and indirect American jobs
- Increase U.S. manufacturing output by almost $39 billion over seven years
- Improve the U.S. trade imbalance in chemicals and equipment by $12.5 billion
- Save American consumers $3.7 billion over 15 years