Senate Cedes Sovereignty on Air Conditioning HFC Regulation

(p. A17) WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Wednesday to approve an international climate treaty for the first time in 30 years, agreeing in a rare bipartisan deal to phase out of the use of planet-warming industrial chemicals commonly found in refrigerators and air-conditioners.

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Many American manufacturers had a business incentive to support the amendment. Under the pact, nations that do not ratify the amendment will have restricted access to expanding international markets starting in 2033.

Some Republicans from states with many chemical manufacturers supported the Kigali deal.

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Americans for Prosperity, a political action committee founded by the billionaire Koch brothers, sent a letter to lawmakers last week saying that ratifying the Kigali Amendment would be an “abdication of U.S. sovereignty over environmental regulation” to the United Nations. The group also argued it would raise the price of air-conditioning, refrigeration and industrial cooling for American consumers.

For the full story, see:

Lisa Friedman and Coral Davenport. “Senate Ratifies Global Pact to Curb HFCs, Used in Cooling.” The New York Times (Thursday, September 22, 2022): A17.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Sept. 21, 2022, and has the title “Senate Ratifies Pact to Curb a Broad Category of Potent Greenhouse Gases.” Where there is a minor difference between the online and print versions, the passages quoted above follow the online version.)

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