Trump Administration appears to be quietly implementing Kigali Agreement

In October 2016, all 197 nations of the world agreed to a major new climate accord in Kigali, Rwanda. The Kigali Amendment, as it is known, seeks to restrict the production and use of a class of refrigerant used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. HFCs are enormously powerful greenhouse gasses—causing up to 15,000 the climate impacts of carbon dioxide on a per-molecule basis. HFCs are released when equipment leaks refrigerant or is improperly disposed of, both of which are common in both industrialized and developing countries. The Kigali Amendment seeks to reduce global production of HFCs by 85 percent by 2036- 2047 for different countries, which the UN says will avoid up to 0.5°C of global temperature rise by 2100.

While the Trump Admiration has disavowed other climate agreements, notably the Paris Accord, it is quietly signaling that it intends to enact the Kigali Amendment. This has important implications for the makers of refrigeration systems, as many HFC-replacements require considerable equipment changes or wholesale replacements. However, equipment that uses alternative refrigerants has, in some cases, run more efficiently after HFCs are retired. The increased efficiency of these systems further decreases overall global warming impacts—both through reduced energy consumption and reduced refrigerant impacts.

You can read more about the Trump Administration’s position here.

You can also read about the types of refrigerants, their environmental impacts, and what the future holds in an excellent white paper produced by the Bonneville Power Administration, here.