A Historic Climate Win
Last week, I helped lead a bipartisan majority of my colleagues in the Senate to do something historic for our planet. We successfully ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol—a treaty to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons or “HFCs” for short.
Many of you may wonder, what are HFCs? Well, They are chemicals used in many of our common household appliances, from air conditioners to refrigerators. While HFCs are good at keeping things cold, they are also super polluting greenhouse gases that are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere.
Thankfully, the world is already transitioning away from using HFCs. This is thanks in large part to the cleaner, more energy-efficient alternatives that are already being made right here in Delaware and other parts of our country as well. By ratifying the Kigali Amendment, we allow the United States to join 137 other countries in pledging to reduce HFCs, which benefits these businesses.
How, you may ask? The Kigali Amendment guarantees that American businesses continue to have access to international markets for refrigerants long into the future. This is going to unleash billions of dollars in economic benefits and create hundreds of thousands of American manufacturing jobs.
Importantly, experts also say that committing to the HFC phasedown alone could help prevent our planet from warming half a degree Celsius by the end of the century. This is monumental for our collective efforts to address the climate crisis.
And don’t worry, just because we are phasing down HFCs does not mean you won’t have an AC unit to keep cool in the summer or a refrigerator to keep food fresh. The United States is already switching to the cleaner, more efficient alternatives I mentioned earlier. These next-generation products use less energy and are cheaper to maintain, meaning everyday consumers should expect to save on energy costs as we transition away from HFCs.
By joining the Kigali Amendment, we are protecting our planet and strengthening U.S. businesses, while also benefiting consumers. That’s a win in my book.