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26.11.2017

Global restrictions on climate-damaging refrigerants

Earth showing a tropical storm in the eastern Indian Ocean and the western coast of Australia
The amendment has already secured the required number of ratifications just one year after its adoption in the Rwandan capital Kigali and can now enter into force in 2019.

Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol can enter into force in 2019

Global restrictions will be introduced for the use of climate-damaging refrigerants. The corresponding amendment has already secured the required number of ratifications just one year after its adoption in the Rwandan capital Kigali and can now enter into force in 2019. This strong political support is the result of the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol which concluded on Saturday. Germany was one of the first parties to deposit its instrument of ratification for the Kigali Amendment on 16 November 2017 in New York.

Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks: "This marks an important step forward in combatting climate change. Together with the EU, we have been fighting for a long time for restrictions on the climate-damaging refrigerants regulated in the Kigali Amendment. It therefore made sense to conclude the ratification process as quickly as possible to facilitate the swift entry into force of this global regulation. By ratifying the amendment early, we in Germany want to send a message of reliability and trust and encourage others to follow suit".

Immediately before and during the Conference of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, which lasted into the night of Saturday, there were further ratifications of the Kigali Agreement. More than 20 countries have now ratified the amendment (minimum number required for its validity) meaning that its provisions, which are important for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, can now enter into force on 1 January 2019. In October 2016, the 197 parties to the Montreal Protocol came together in the Rwandan capital Kigali and agreed to gradually phase down, by up to 85 percent, the production and consumption of certain climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are primarily used as refrigerants in air conditioning systems. While these substances do not directly damage the ozone layer, they do have high global warming potentials (GWP) and can be up to 14,800 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Due to the growing global demand for refrigeration and air conditioning systems, these substances are being used more and more frequently thus increasing their share in the atmosphere. During the Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany deposited its instrument of ratification for the Kigali Amendment together with other EU member states. The amendment also supports the development and use of alternative refrigerants.

Aside from the practical implementation of the Kigali Amendment, such as methods for destroying HFCs, the parties also agreed to replenish the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol with 540 million US dollars. This is intended to cover the period from 2018 to 2020. The Fund supports developing countries and emerging economies in their reduction commitments. Germany contributes to the Fund through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in the form of budgetary funds and bilateral projects. Germany’s contribution covers approximately 10 percent of the entire funding required.

The Kigali Amendment is an addition to the Montreal Protocol aimed at reducing climate-damaging fluorinated greenhouse gases. This week, the parties to the protocol celebrated its 30th anniversary. The Montreal Protocol has succeeded in putting a stop to destruction of the ozone layer. The ozone layer has shown signs of recovery since the protocol entered into force.

26.11.2017 | Pressreport No. 365/17 | Climate