The European Union has ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which will bring about a global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – powerful greenhouse gases. HFCs, used mainly in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment, are thousands of times more harmful to the climate than CO2. In response to the rapid growth of HFC emissions, the 197 parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted the Kigali Amendment in 2016 to reduce gradually their global production and consumption. The EU has been phasing down HFCs since 2015. EU member states are in the process of ratifying the Kigali Amendment individually. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said, “We encourage all parties to the Montreal Protocol to take action on HFCs as soon as possible. Delivering on the Kigali commitments will play a vital role in our global efforts to tackle climate change, as well as driving innovation and creating new economic opportunities in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector.”

Global implementation of the Kigali Amendment would prevent up to 80 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent of emissions by 2050. This would make a significant contribution to the Paris Agreement objective of limiting the global temperature rise to well below 2°C.

All 197 Montreal Protocol parties agreed to take steps to gradually reduce the production and use of HFCs. The first reduction step to be taken by the EU and other developed countries is required in 2019, while most developing countries will start their phasedown in 2024.

The Kigali Amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2019. For the objectives to be achieved effectively and costefficiently, all governments and relevant industries should already be taking action now to ensure that the most climatefriendly alternatives are being used.