The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer entered into force on 1 January 2019, following ratification by 65 countries.
Action under the Amendment will help reduce the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons, potent GHGs, and thus avoid global warming of up to 0.4°C this century.
3 January 2019: The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer entered into force on 1 January 2019, following ratification by 65 countries. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) announced the entry into force, and noted that it will help reduce the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases (GHGs), and thus to avoid global warming by up to 0.4°C this century.
The need for the Amendment emerged from the 1987 Montreal Protocol process, which controls ozone-depleting substances. With HFCs’ use as an alternative to ozone-depleting substances in cooling equipment, their role in warming the atmosphere became a greater concern. In 2016, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted the agreement on HFCs at the close of the 28th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 28) in Kigali, Rwanda. Governments agreed that it would enter into force on 1 January 2019, provided that at least 20 Parties to the Montreal Protocol had ratified it. On 17 November 2017, Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago deposited their instruments of ratification, bringing the number of Parties above the required threshold.
The Kigali Amendment is a resolution “we cannot afford to break.”
In a guest article published on the SDG Knowledge Hub on 1 January 2019, Ozone Secretariat Executive Secretary Tina Birmpili called the Kigali Amendment a resolution “we cannot afford to break.” She reported ratifications from 65 countries recorded by 21 December 2018, with more expected, and said Parties have put in place practical arrangements for implementing the Amendment.
Under the Amendment, all countries will gradually phase down HFCs by more than 80 percent over the next 30 years and replace them with more environmentally friendly alternatives. A specified group of developed countries will begin the phase-down in 2019. Several developing countries will freeze HFC consumption levels in 2024, followed by additional countries in 2028. The phase-down schedule is detailed here. The Amendment also includes agreements on technologies to destroy HFCs, data reporting requirements, and provisions for capacity building for developing countries. [UNEP Press Release]