opinion | The Senate must ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocols

It is rare for a climate change action to gain the full support of industry groups, environmental activists, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Ratification of the Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol It will boost US manufacturing and demonstrate US commitment to climate leadership – a real win. Yet even the most benign climate proposals tend to die in Congress, as politicians look for opportunities to score points with their base by engaging in climate demagoguery. For once, this may not happen — and with a measure that promises to do much good, as the Senate prepares to vote this week on the Kigali Amendment.

Montreal Protocol signed in 1987 I believed By the United States a year later, it was a landmark agreement between the world’s governments to phase out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances, particularly CFCs used in household appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners. A class of related substances, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), has emerged as a popular alternative. While these chemicals do not damage the ozone layer, they act as highly potent greenhouse gases, besieged Atmospheric heat is 1,000 times more effective than carbon dioxide.

After more than a decade of conversations – and important link From President Barack Obama – Global negotiators agreed in 2016 on an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that would phase out HFCs, thereby preventing up to 0.5°C from global warming. The Kigali Amendment, named after the capital of Rwanda where it was fragmented, was backed by the chemical industry, which had already invested heavily in alternatives. US manufacturers hope to leverage their strengths in research and development to bring next-generation products to market competitors. A 2018 report released by the Alliance for Responsible Atmosphere Policy, a trade association, estimated That this could generate more than 30,000 American jobs.

The amendment has since been ratified or approved by 137 Countriesincluding China and India. However, US authentication stopped during the Trump administration, which was hostile For both multilateral treaties and climate action. President Biden revived the effort last year, send Amendment to the Senate for ratification in November. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimous Approved in May, the majority leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) Get it ready for the vote this week. Full approval of the amendment requires the approval of two-thirds of the Senators present.

This must be a no-brainer. Phasing out of the Kigali Amendment timetable It is already part of US policy: 2020 American innovation and industrialization Directed EPA law to set new rules on HFCs, and the EPA export Last year that will make the United States comply with the amendment. But Senate approval guarantee You will avoid the country trade restrictions For countries that have not ratified the agreement, due to start in 2033, it will protect US companies’ access to expanding international markets.

Immediately, the enshrinement of the international protocol would signal that the United States is committed to international climate policy — and demonstrate that commitment is at least somewhat bipartisan. This would give the United States more credibility as it pressures other nations to make their climate commitments, which is the only way to tackle climate change. The Senate should not hesitate to pass a measure that is good for the economy and the environment – and for America’s global leadership.

Post opinion | About the editorial board

Editorial articles represent the views of The Washington Post as an institution, as defined by discussion among members of Editorial Boardin the opinions section and separate from the newsroom.

Editorial staff members and areas of focus: Deputy editor of the editorial page Karen Tumulty; Deputy editor of the editorial page Ruth Marcus; Assistant Editing Page Editor Jo Ann Armau (education, metropolitan affairs); Jonathan Kephart (national policy); Lee Hochstadter (Immigration; issues affecting Virginia and Maryland); David E. Hoffman (global public health); Charles Lynn (Foreign Affairs, National Security, International Economy); Heather Long (economics); Molly Roberts (technology and society); And the Stephen Stromberg (Elections, White House, Congress, Legal Affairs, Energy, Environment, Health Care).

Leave a Comment