WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and John Kennedy (R.-La.) today joined environmental, industry, and business leaders to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Senate’s ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The Kigali Amendment is a global treaty to phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), super-polluting refrigerants that are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere.
“Nearly one year ago, the Senate did something historic for our nation and our planet by voting to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol,” said Senator Carper. “In addition to avoiding up to 0.5 degrees Celsius in global warming, the Kigali Amendment is going to help spur billions of dollars in additional investment in the U.S. economy — all while creating jobs in Delaware and around our country. I am thankful to my colleague and friend, Senator Kennedy, as well as all of our partners, in the effort to phase down the use of these super pollutants known as HFCs.”
“Sen. Carper and I have worked hard to protect American jobs by keeping the U.S. competitive in global industry,” said Senator Kennedy. “Our investment in next-generation refrigerants is creating thousands of jobs, saving billions of dollars and safeguarding the environment, all of which matter deeply to Louisianians.”
“For four decades, Congress and seven presidential administrations have worked in a bipartisan manner with environmental and industry stakeholders to replace the ozone-depleting and climate-warming chemicals used for refrigeration, air conditioning, and many other applications,” said David Doniger, Senior Strategic Director, Natural Resources Defense Council. “U.S. leadership has enabled this remarkable transition here at home and world-wide. Together, we have saved millions of people from skin cancer, cataracts, and other illnesses. Together we have done more to slow climate change than any other action to date. Passing the AIM Act and ratifying the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs are just the latest successful steps we’ve taken. NRDC salutes the leadership of Sens. Carper and Kennedy in this effort. “
“The Alliance would like to thank Senators Carper, Kennedy, and Capito, and all of our policy supporters, for the amazing effort to achieve ratification of the Kigali amendment, as well as the previous passage of the AIM Act, which assured the authority to implement Kigali in the United States,” said Kevin Fay, Executive Director of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy. “Kigali ratification along with AIM Act implementation, is one of the most consequential environmental policy achievements of the last two decades. And to realize these environmental benefits tied to significant economic benefits, including jobs, exports, and US technology leadership, is a testament to the possibilities when we can come together in such strong bipartisan fashion.”
“Ratification of the Kigali Amendment represented the second leg of the HFC phase down triad, the first of which was passage of the AIM Act in 2020 and the third of which is implementation, which is ongoing through the EPA,” said Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. “We are proud of the work of our industry and its Senate and environmental partners.”
Carper and Kennedy’s Leadership in Phasing Down HFCs:
- November 2019: Senators Carper and Kennedy introduce the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, bipartisan legislation that would direct EPA to implement an 85 percent phasedown of HFCs over 15 years — the timeline required under the Kigali Amendment.
- September 2020: Carper and Kennedy announce a bipartisan agreement with Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), creating a path forward for Congress to enact a nationwide phasedown of HFCs.
- December 2020: Carper and Kennedy secure the inclusion of the amended AIM Act in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, enabling the United States to join the rest of the world in phasing down HFCs.
- April 2022: Carper and Kennedy pen a joint op-ed and send a letter to Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, calling for ratification of the Kigali Amendment.
- September 2022: Senators Carper and Kennedy lead the Senate to ratify the Kigali Amendment by a vote of 69-27.