U.S. Joins Agreement to Phase Out GHGs

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The U.S. Senate on Sept. 21 voted to join an international agreement to phase out hydrofluorocarbons commonly found in refrigerators and air-conditioners, news outlets reported.

Per the 69-27 vote, the United States joined the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, are greenhouse gases that trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that the Senate “delivered a historic, bipartisan win for American workers and industry. Ratifying the Kigali Amendment will allow us to lead the clean technology markets of the future, by innovating and manufacturing those technologies here in America. Ratification will spur the growth of manufacturing jobs, strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and advance the global effort to combat the climate crisis. 
 
“The Kigali Amendment will phase down global production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), super-polluting chemicals that are hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide,” Biden said. “American companies are already leading on innovation and manufacturing of HFC alternatives—and today’s vote will help our nation unlock an estimated 33,000 new domestic manufacturing jobs, $4.8 billion each year in increased exports, and $12.5 billion each year in increased economic output.” Biden also said, “As more countries join the United States in ratifying this amendment, we can prevent up to half a degree Celsius of warming this century, a significant contribution to fighting climate change and protecting communities from more extreme impacts.”

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