‘We support the goals and approach of the Amendment,' says State Department official at MOP29, despite U.S. retreat from Paris accord.
In a Thanksgiving Day statement, an official of the U.S. State Department said the U.S. has “initiated the process to consider U.S. ratification of the [Kigali] Amendment” to the Montreal Protocol, which calls for a global phase-down of HFCs.
“The United States believes the Kigali Amendment represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs, and therefore we support the goals and approach of the Amendment,” said Judith G. Garber, principal deputy assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Garber made these comments at the 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, held last week in Montreal.
The U.S. Senate is the body that would ratify the U.S. commitment to the Kigali Amendment, and it's awaiting transmittal of the Amendment by the Trump Administration. “There are a number of steps in our domestic process that we would need to complete before reaching a final decision on transmittal of the Kigali Amendment to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent,” said Garber, adding, “There is no timeline currently determined for these steps,” before noting that the process for consideration of ratification has been initiated.
“The United States believes the Kigali Amendment represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs.”
– Judith G. Garber, U.S. State Department
Garber ended on an optimistic note: “We have enjoyed working with all of you for the past 30 years and look forward to continuing our cooperation. We have much work ahead of us, but we can rely on a strong foundation built by decades of Ozone Heroes. We can, and will, continue that incredible legacy.”
Garber’s statement is one of the few made by the Trump Administration that support ways to reduce climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions. President Trump announced on June 1, 2017, that the U.S. would pull out of the Paris Accord on climate change, making it now the only country in the world not backing the agreement.
The Kigali Agreement will go into effect on 1 January, 2019, having passed the 20-country ratification threshold on November 17, 2017. Any country that ratifies it going forward will be bound by its HFC phase-down requirements, which differ for developed and developing countries. Countries that don’t ratify it will be subject to trade restrictions on HFCs.