US senators passed the Kigali Amendment in a 69-27 vote that was hailed by environmentalists as a welcome step towards addressing the climate crisis.
The US Senate has approved an amendment to an international environmental treaty that would phase out the use of planet-warming greenhouse gases in a move hailed as an important step towards confrontation. with climate crisis.
In a 69-27 vote on Wednesday, the Senate approved the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which commits to ending the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), commonly used in heating, through wind, air conditioning and refrigeration.
The Montreal Agreement, a 1987 global treaty, successfully promoted the end of the use of depleting substances. ozone layer.
It has been revised several times to introduce more stringent environmental regulations, including promoting materials that do not deplete the ozone layer.
The Kigali Amendment, named after the capital of Rwanda where it was finalized, was passed in 2016.
Then-US President Barack Obama supported the measure in the final weeks of his presidency, but his successor Donald Trump, who withdrew from Paris Climate Agreementdid not submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification.
In the United States, ratification of a treaty requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
On Monday, more than 20 Republican senators joined Democrats in the equally divided room in a rare bipartisan display.
President Joe Biden, who formally asked the Senate to pass the amendment late last year, hailed the vote as “historic”, saying Washington was “back to the table leading the way in the fight against climate change”. “.
“Ratification of the Kigali Amendment will allow us to lead the clean technology market of the future, by innovating and manufacturing those technologies in the United States,” Biden said in a statement.
“Ratification will accelerate the growth of manufacturing jobs, strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and accelerate global efforts to combat climate crisis. “
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the amendment’s approval an “important step” that will help fight climate change and create jobs in America.
“Win-win will go a long way to combating rising global temperatures and creating well-paying jobs for Americans,” Schumer wrote on Twitter.
Marco Rubio, one of the Republican senators who voted to amend the treaty, said US manufacturers have phased out the use of HFCs.
“Ratification of the Kigali Amendment will not change U.S. law, but it will significantly benefit American companies that manufacture and innovate in heating appliances,” he said in a statement. ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration by opening more export markets.
Nearly 140 countries had previously ratified the amendment.