Kigali Amendment

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is an international agreement to gradually reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). It is a legally binding agreement designed to create rights and obligations in international law.[1]

Kigali Accord
Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol
TypeEnvironmental protection agreement
ContextMontreal Protocol (1985)
SignedOctober 15, 2016 (2016-10-15)
LocationKigali, Rwanda
EffectiveJanuary 1, 2019 (2019-01-01)

The Montreal Protocol was originally created to preserve and restore the ozone layer, and it worked.[2] The Protocol was an agreement between participating countries to phase out certain ozone depleting gases. HFCs were used to replace the substances banned in that agreement because they have zero impact on the ozone. However, HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change,[3] so this amendment adds HFCs to the list of chemicals that countries promise to phase out.

As of July 14, 2021, 123 states and the European Union have ratified the Kigali Amendment.[4] The US has not ratified the amendment yet, but in April 2021 it pledged to do so.[5]


Many industrial products, including heat pumps that operate on a refrigerant and propellant aerosols, require non-flammable fluids capable of passing easily from gaseous state to liquid state and having significant latent heat.

Historically, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were used in these applications, but the deleterious effect of these gases on the ozone layer was discovered in the 1970s. Paul J. Crutzen, Mario Molina, and F. Sherwood Rowland were awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995.[6] The Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987 by many states and entered into force in 1989, decided to phase out CFCs. The use of HFCs then developed as a replacement.

These gases save the ozone layer, but they are powerful greenhouse gases. While their lifespan in the atmosphere is quite short, they filter infrared waves very strongly. For example, HFC-23 has a global warming potential (GWP) at 100 years of 12,400, compared to just 1 for CO
.[7] Basically, each molecule of HFC-23 is 12,400 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO
. Eliminating emissions of these gases could significantly lower the effects of global warming and may avoid a full half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century.[8]

Details of the agreementEdit

Article 5 of the Montreal Protocol created separate standards for developing countries and non-developing.[9] Whether a country was categorized as developing or non-developing depended on individual economic conditions at the time of the agreement or pending special request.[10] Because the Protocol was created in the 1980s and countries economic situations have changed, the Kigali Amendment created three updated groups for compliance with the additional terms.[11]

The first group, which includes the "old" industrialized countries, is committed to reducing the use of HFCs by 45% by 2024 and by 85% by 2036, compared to their use between 2011 and 2013. A second group, which includes China and Brazil, is committed to reducing its consumption by 80% by 2045. Finally, this deadline is extended to 2047 for the rest of the countries, including India and a number of countries in the Middle East,[12] which are large consumers of air conditioning.

In addition, parties that experience monthly average temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius for at least two months per year, over a period of 10 consecutive years, may request a waiver.[13][14]


  1. ^ United Nations Environment Program, Montreal Protocol Secretariat (February 2017). "Ratification of the Kigali Amendment , information note" (PDF). Retrieved April 12, 2019. The Amendment is only legally binding on a Party if it has entered into force with respect to that -ci
  2. ^ "Thirty years on, what is the Montreal Protocol doing to protect the ozone?". UN Environment. 2019-11-15. Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  3. ^ "The Montreal Protocol evolves to fight climate change | UNIDO". Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  4. ^ "United Nations Treaty Collection". Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  5. ^ "US joins China in Kigali pledge". Cooling Post. 2021-04-18.
  6. ^ "Press Release: The 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry". Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  7. ^ "ADEME - Site Bilans GES". Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  8. ^ Velders GJ, Fahey DW, Daniel JS, McFarland M, Andersen SO (July 2009). "The large contribution of projected HFC emissions to future climate forcing". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 106 (27): 10949–54. doi:10.1073/pnas.0902817106. PMC 2700150. PMID 19549868.
  9. ^ Montreal Protocol, Article 5
  10. ^ "Handbook for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer" (PDF). p. 735.
  11. ^ Section 5.8, Article 1. "Handbook for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer" (PDF). p.920-922
  12. ^ "The decision and its annex state that Bahrain, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE will use a baseline averaging their calculated levels of HFC consumption for the years 2024, 2025, and 2026, plus 65% of their baseline consumption of HCFCs."  Earth Negotiations Bulletin (PDF). p10.
  13. ^ "Decision XXVIII/2: Decision related to the amendment phasing down hydrofluorocarbons". Appendix II: List of countries operating under the high-ambient-temperature exemption.
  14. ^ Ibid. These countries are: Algeria, Bahrain, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates.