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The European Union should rapidly ratify the Kigali Amendment to the United Nations Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to pave the way for its swift implementation, according to a draft ratification decision published by the European Commission Feb. 2.
The Kigali Amendment, agreed to in the Rwandan capital by nearly 200 nations in October 2016, is intended to ensure the phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), gases that are used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems but have high global-warming potential.
Wealthy countries, including the EU’s members and the U.S., agreed to start HFC reductions in 2019 with the eventual aim to cut their consumption and production by 85 percent by 2036 compared to 2011-2013 levels.
The Kigali Amendment will enter into force when at least 20 parties ratify it. The commission, the EU’s executive arm, said EU ratification could immediately trigger the entry into force because the 28 EU countries count as separate parties to the amendment.
The commission said that EU ratification should be straightforward because the bloc in 2014 already finalized the EU F-Gas Regulation ((EU) No 517/2014), which commits the EU to the HFC reductions required by the Kigali Amendment.
EU Climate Action Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said in a statement that the EU would benefit from implementation of the Kigali Amendment because it would “provide new opportunities for European manufacturers of air conditioning and refrigerants to access the global market.”
The commission’s proposed decision on ratification of the Kigali Amendment must be formally approved by the governments of the EU’s member countries.
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The proposed EU decision to ratify the Kigali Amendment is available at http://bit.ly/2k4Y1vx.
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