The entry into force of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on phasing down HFCs – agreed in the Rwandan capital last October – today came one step closer after the ratification of the agreement by the European Parliament.
The final adoption of the text by the European Union (EU) as a whole is still pending as it must also be adopted by the 28 EU member states that are parties to the Montreal Protocol.
The Kigali Amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2019 provided that it has been ratified by at least 20 parties to the Montreal Protocol, or 90 days after ratification by the 20<sup>th</sup> party, whichever is later.
Ratification by a number of EU countries, therefore, will be sufficient to trigger the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment.
So far, two countries have ratified the amendment: the Marshall Islands on 2 March and Mali on 31 March.
The Kigali deal, agreed on 15 October 2016, is legally binding for all 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol. Developed countries take the lead on phasing down these potent greenhouse gases, starting with a 10% reduction in 2019 and delivering an 85% cut in 2036 (compared to the 2011-2013 baseline).
Developing countries are split into two groups. The first one – including China and African nations – will freeze consumption of HFCs by 2024, with their first reduction steps starting in 2029. A second group, which includes India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Gulf countries, will meet a later deadline, freezing their use of these gases in 2028 and reducing consumption from 2032.
The HFCs specifically targeted by the Kigali amendment include the following: R134, R134a, R143, R245fa, R365mfc, R227ea, R236cb, R236ea, R236fa, R245ca, R43-10mee, R32, R125, R143a, R41, R152, R152a, R161 and R23. Some of HFCs are also the components of commonly used HFC blends like R404A and R410a, which are also covered under the amendment.
HVAC&R industry players broadly welcomed the Kigali Amendment as a concrete follow-up to the Paris accord addressing climate change.
Natural refrigerants are widely accepted as a market-ready, energy-efficient replacement for HFCs in many applications.
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