Rwanda and Canada urge countries to expedite ratification of the Kigali Amendment

Rwanda and Canada have hosted a special event at the UN General Assembly in New York to rally support for the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The event was attended by a range of environmental leaders from around the world, including Ministers from Rwanda, Canada, Norway, the Maldives, Mexico, France, Costa Rica and Morocco and the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands. The Executive Director of UN Environment and the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme were also in attendance.

The discussion centred on the need for quick ratification of the Kigali Amendment as well as the need for countries to be ready to implement the legal obligations of the amendment. Rwanda's leadership to secure the amendment was praised by a number of speakers.

Minister Biruta, speaking to more than 100 attendees, expressed his wish to secure 20 ratifications before the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol in November, so that the amendment enters into force in January 2019 as planned.

“We must work together so that the amendment enters into force on 1 January 2019. To achieve this, we need parties to follow the lead of those who have already ratified,” Minister Biruta said.

“We are looking forward to the 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Canada in November and I am hopeful that by then at least 20 parties will have completed the ratification process,” Minister later added.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada and co-host of the event, voiced her ambition for a quick ratification as the future of climate action depends on it.

“This is all about stepping up and showing leadership,” Minister McKenna said. “The partnership between developed countries and developing countries is extraordinarily important,” McKenna added.

The meeting closed with announcements from a number of countries, including Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica, that they are undertaking the ratification process and will be ready to report good news about in the near future.

About the Kigali Amendment

The Kigali Amendment to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) was adopted the 14th of October 2016. The Amendment is to enter into force on 1 January 2019, provided at least 20 instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval have been deposited by Parties to the Montreal Protocol. To date, six countries have ratified the Amendment –Mali, the Federate State of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Rwanda, Palau, and Norway – with many other having notified they have begun the ratification process.

The Kigali Amendment provides the largest, fastest, and most secure climate mitigation available in the near-term, avoiding up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century. The HFC phase-down will also improve the energy efficiency of air conditioners, refrigerators, and other products and equipment that use HFCs as refrigerants. This will avoid significant amounts of CO2 emissions from the power plants that provide the electricity to run these products and equipment, equal to the production from between nearly 1,600 medium-sized (500 MW) peak-load power plants by 2030, and up to 2,500 power plants by 2050.