Kigali agreement decisions and consequences.

What are the main aspects of the Kigali HFC Amendment?
As announced in the October 2016 issue of the IIR Newsletter, during the 28th Meeting of the Parties (MOP28) on October 15, 2016, in Kigali, Rwanda, representatives from nearly 200 nations unanimously agreed to a legally binding agreement to reduce worldwide use of HFCs. Under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, developed (A2) countries will begin to reduce their HFC consumption from 2019, while developing countries (A5) will begin to freeze it in either 2024 or 2028 for Gulf and some South-Asian countries. Finally, A2 countries will reduce their HFC consumption by 85% in 2036 while A5 countries will reduce it by either 80% in 2045 or 85% in 2047 (see details in the latest issue of the IIR Newsletter).

According to the UNEP, the Kigali Amendment is the single largest contribution the world has made towards keeping the global temperature rise "well below" 2 degrees Celsius, as agreed during the Paris climate conference under the Kyoto Protocol last year. Besides, the Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, thirty days after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Rio Convention, accounting in total for at least 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it. 122 Parties have now ratified.

The Kigali Amendment will enter into force on January 1, 2019, provided that it is ratified by at least 20 parties. If that condition is not met by 2019, the Amendment will become effective 90 days after 20 parties ratify it.

In Kigali, countries also agreed to provide adequate financing for HFCs reduction, the cost of which is estimated at billions of dollars globally. The exact amount of additional funding should be agreed at the next MOP29 in Montreal, at the end of 2017.
Parties also took decisions on other key issues: regarding energy efficiency, the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) has been requested to review energy efficiency opportunities in the refrigeration sector related to a transition to climate-friendly alternatives, and Parties are invited to provide relevant information on energy efficiency innovations by May 2017. Regarding safety, Parties “recognized the importance of the timely updating of international standards for flammable low-GWP refrigerants, and supported the promotion of actions that allow for the safe market introduction, manufacturing, operation, maintenance and handling of zero-GWP and low-GWP refrigerants that are alternatives to HCFCs and HFCs.” On the initiative of a consultative group led by China, TEAP has been requested to establish a task force to liaise and coordinate with standards organizations, to support the timely revision of relevant safety standards.

Kigali decisions and repercussions are undoubtedly crucial for the refrigeration sector and well beyond as demonstrated by some figures: about 14,000 articles were published in the global media in October 2016 only on this issue and over 830,000 people sent messages on various social media channels.

For further information, please consult the UNEP guidebook.