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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks Calling For The Senate To Take Significant Action On The Climate Crisis By Approving The Kigali Treaty

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor calling for the approval of the Kigali Treaty that will curb our country’s use of dangerous hydrofluorocarbons. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Yesterday the Senate received a message from the White House calling for us to approve a treaty that will curb our country’s use of dangerous hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.

Commonly known as the Kigali Amendment, 120 countries have agreed to this amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Even China is on the list; we should join too.

HFCs are dangerous greenhouse chemicals found in everyday appliances: from air conditioners to refrigerators—they are thousands of times more damaging to our atmosphere than carbon dioxide. We had made progress in eliminating these chemicals before the Trump Administration characteristically, unfortunately, took us backwards. 

Phasing out these HFCs is very important and it will go a long way in fighting climate change and protecting the environment for future generations. And its supported by the business community too, as it will open US companies to markets for HFC alternatives overseas—promoting investment, innovation, and greater economic activity.

Approving this amendment will require two-thirds of the Senate. Reducing our country’s use of HFCs has been a bipartisan priority in the past. In fact, last December, the Senate approved the first ever agreement to phase down HFCs – a significant win for fighting the climate crisis. It should be a bipartisan priority right now.

In the wake of the President’s visit to Glasgow, approving this amendment—which much of the world already embraces—is essential for telling the world we are committed to fighting the climate crisis. If we want to lead the world on this issue, it must, it must get done.