Australia has become one of the first 10 countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, a major international agreement to reduce global production and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are highly potent synthetic greenhouse gases.
Under the Kigali Amendment, Australia and other developed countries will reduce the use of HFCs by 85% by 2036. Australia’s imports of HFCs will start reducing in 2018.
The long phase-down period means that consumers can continue to use equipment with HFCs until the end of its useful life. There are already new technologies on the market which use fewer HFCs, as well as non-HFC alternatives.
The Kigali Amendment replicates the successful approach taken under the Montreal Protocol to phase out ozone depleting substances, 99% of which have been phased out to date.
This has brought a significant reduction of those substances in the atmosphere and predictions that the ozone layer will be repaired by the middle of this century in the mid-latitudes and about 20 years later in Antarctica.