The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on phasing down HFCs will enter into force on 1 January 2019 after surpassing the required ratification threshold.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a landmark international agreement to phase down the production and use of HFCs, is poised to enter into force after it was ratified by Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago yesterday. That meets the threshold for the treaty to come into effect on the earliest possible date: 1 January 2019.
The Kigali deal stipulated that the treaty would enter into force on 1 January 2019 provided it had been ratified by at least 20 parties to the Montreal Protocol. Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago bring the deal over that threshold following formal ratification by six other countries earlier this week: Finland, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), Luxembourg, the Maldives, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. Canada ratified the Kigali Amendment on 3 November.
The Kigali Amendment – which applies to all 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol – only becomes legally binding for individual signatories once they have formally ratified it. A complete list of ratifications is available here.
HFCs are widely seen as the world’s fastest-growing climate pollutant and are used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Kigali sees 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 – which includes China and African nations – will freeze consumption of HFCs by 2024, with their first reduction steps starting in 2029. A second group including 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.
Clear market signal
The imminent entry into force of the Kigali deal establishes a clear HFC phase-down schedule, giving a strong message to the HVAC&R sector to provide the technology solutions – including natural refrigerant-based equipment – that will deliver the Kigali targets.