The Kigali Agreement, signed in 2016, is a historic deal aimed at phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – a potent greenhouse gas – used primarily in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. This agreement was negotiated under the framework of the Montreal Protocol – an earlier international agreement that was put in place to eliminate the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were also contributing to ozone depletion and climate change.
The Kigali Agreement is significant because it has the potential to reduce global warming by up to 0.5°C by the end of this century. This is a significant step towards achieving the temperature goals set out in the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep the global temperature increase below 2°C, with a stretch target of 1.5°C.
The Kigali Agreement is expected to drive innovation and investment in the development of alternative refrigerants and technologies. This will not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also create new opportunities for businesses and job growth.
Under the terms of the agreement, developed countries will start phasing out HFCs in 2019, while developing countries will begin the process in 2024. By 2045, all countries are expected to have completely phased out HFCs. The agreement also provides for financial assistance to developing countries to support their transition to non-HFC alternatives.
The Kigali Agreement is an important step towards mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. It demonstrates that international cooperation and innovative solutions can lead to effective action on climate change. By reducing the use of these powerful greenhouse gases, we can protect our planet and safeguard the future for generations to come.