With the ratification by Sweden a few days ago, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol has reached the 20-country threshold needed to enter into force on 1st January 2019.
The Kigali Amendment is an amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It was adopted by the 28th Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol on 15 October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda. The Amendment adds powerful greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), often used in refrigerators, to the list of substances controlled under the Protocol to be phased down.
The Amendment will phase-down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. Use of HFCs is increasing rapidly as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. HFC phasedown is expected to prevent the emission of up to 105 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases, helping to avoid up to 0.5 degree Celsius of global temperature rise by 2100, while continuing to protect the ozone layer.
Reacting to the development, a joint statement from High Ambition Coalition members read:
“Today – on the final day of COP23 – we crossed the threshold required for the Amendment to enter into force in 2019. The fact that this has been achieved just over a year since the Amendment was adopted in Kigali is a massive political signal of our determination to phase down HFCs, and of our commitment to a multilateral approach to tackling climate change.
The High Ambition Coalition played a big role in securing the Amendment last year, and a big role in driving its ratification this year. More than half of the first countries that have ratified the Amendment are from the High Ambition Coalition. With the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol convening next week in Canada, we hope the rest of the world can also join this vital Amendment and start work on implementing it.”
Rwanda’s Environment Minister Dr Vincent Biruta, Marshall Islands’ Environment Minister David Paul, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete, and Federated States of Micronesia’s Director of the Office of Environment and Emergency Management Andrew Yatilma jointly signed the statement.