Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Following The Historic Ratification Of The Kigali Amendment To The Montreal Protocol

September 21, 2022

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which will help create new American jobs, spur investments in U.S. businesses, and fight against climate change. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

This is a very good day: we have just passed the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on a strong bipartisan basis. This is a win-win-win: a win for U.S.  jobs, a win for U.S. investment, and a win for U.S. leadership in the fight against climate change.  

We’ve talked a lot about how this amendment will help U.S. businesses, U.S. Jobs, and U.S. competitiveness overseas, but let’s talk about how important this amendment will be for protecting our planet.

Ratifying the Kigali Amendment—along with passing the Inflation Reduction Act—is the strongest one-two punch against climate change any Congress has ever undertaken.

Let me say that again: ratifying the Kigali Amendment—along with passing the Inflation Reduction Act—is the strongest one-two punch against climate change any Congress has ever taken.

In fact – this is amazing statistic folks, people don't pay attention to this one, but it is vital – experts say that phasing out our use of HFCs will help prevent up to half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century. That's worth repeating as well: experts say that phasing out our use of HFCs will help prevent up to half a degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century.

It’s an easily overlooked victory but a massive one, all coming from eliminating this family of dangerous chemicals, which are a thousand times more deadly per molecule than carbon dioxide.

And on top of it all, ratifying this amendment will give U.S. businesses a huge leg up: it will open exports to new international markets, generate tens of billions in new investments, and help create tens of thousands of good paying jobs.

And we will get a much-needed edge against Chinese businesses, who still lag behind in developing viable HFC alternatives. Under Kigali, our exports will increase while China will lose out.

So once again, ratifying the Kigali Amendment is a win-win-win: a win for U.S. jobs, a win for U.S. investment, and most of all, a win our global campaign to defeat the climate crisis and preserve our planet for future generations.  

I want to thank my colleague from Delaware, who has been such a persistent advocate on this legislation. And there are so many others. The Senators from New Mexico and Hawaii and Delaware who have worked so hard on it as well. I thank them for their steadfastness.

The globe, our globe, is rejoicing today because of this legislation.

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