EUROPE: Ratification of the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol could be virtually assured following proposed backing from the European Commission.

The European Commission today adopted a proposal for the EU to ratify the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol on a global phase-down of HFCs – the majority of which are used as refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

The proposal follows the agreement reached last October in Kigali, Rwanda, where the 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to gradually limit their production and use of HFCs. For the Kigali amendment to enter into force, at least 20 Parties need to ratify it. Ratification by the EU countries alone could thus trigger the entry into force.

Under the amendment, first reductions in developed countries are due in 2019. Most developing countries will freeze the level of HFC quantities in 2024, and a few countries will follow in 2028.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Not only will this landmark deal help us meet our climate objectives, but it will also provide new opportunities for European manufacturers of air conditioning and refrigerants to access the global market, creating additional jobs and attracting new investment.”

The EU has already taken action to reduce HFCs under the F-gas regulations, and it is now encouraging other countries to take early action as well.

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