Biden sends 2016 climate treaty to Senate for ratification

President BidenJoe BidenIdaho state House passes worker vaccine compensation bill Biden sends 2016 climate treaty to Senate for ratification Rubio vows to slow-walk Biden’s China, Spain ambassador nominees MORE on Tuesday sent a 2016 international climate agreement to the Senate for consideration. 

The agreement in question, known as the Kigali Amendment — named for the Rwandan city where it was agreed, calls for the global phase-down of planet-warming chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). 

But the U.S. has already taken actions that are in line with its end goal, cutting down HFC consumption 85 percent by the year 2036. 

HFCs are used in products like refrigerators and air conditioners and can have up to 14,800 times the climate impact of carbon dioxide. 

In sending the treaty to the Senate, President Biden argued that even though the U.S. has taken steps to meet its goals, it would still be a benefit to join the 124 other parties to the agreement. 

“Ratification by the United States would advance U.S. interests in remaining a leader in the development and deployment of HFC alternatives, ensuring access to rapidly growing refrigeration and cooling markets overseas and stimulating U.S. investment, exports, and job growth in this sector,” he said in a message to the Senate. 

“Ratification will also ensure the United States continues to have a full voice to represent U.S. economic and environmental interests as implementation of the Kigali Amendment moves forward in coming years,” he added. 

In order to be ratified, the agreement will need to get support from two-thirds of the Senate, meaning that if all of the Democrats agree, 17 Republicans will need to join them. 

Cutting down the use of HFCs does have some bipartisan support, however, as Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) championed legislation alongside Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperBiden sends 2016 climate treaty to Senate for ratification EPA unveils national recycling plan with goal of 50 percent rate The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Will Biden’s big bill pass the House this week? MORE (D-Del.) to phase down the use of HFCs last year. 

The bill, which directed the Environmental Protection Agency to institute a phase-down, was ultimately included in an omnibus package that then-President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden sends 2016 climate treaty to Senate for ratification US, China ease restrictions on journalists Americans keep spending MORE signed last year. 

This year, the EPA put forward corresponding regulations aimed at tackling the potent greenhouse gases.

Carper, in a statement, celebrated Biden’s move. 

 “It’s long past time that we join the rest of the international community in addressing HFCs and taking the kind of bold, transformational climate action that this moment demands. Doing so would not only be good for our planet but our economy as well,” he said. “Business leaders support ratifying Kigali because they know it will further open up global markets to American-made products and protect U.S. companies from illegal Chinese imports.”

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