Rwanda rallies countries to ratify the Kigali climate deal
Friday, October 15, 2021

At least 71 parties have been urged to ratify the Kigali Amendment Protocol aimed to protect the ozone layer and accelerate actions to mitigate climate change. 

The call was made on October 15, Rwanda celebrates the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.

The substances phase-down is expected to prevent the emission of up to 105 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gases, helping to avoid up to 0.4°C of global temperature rise , while continuing to protect the ozone layer.

The climate deal was signed in 2016 in Kigali.

Environmental experts are calling for urgent action to address the climate crisis, and demonstrate tangible commitments to cut emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

In the lead-up to the COP26 UN Climate Summit in November this year, experts say, more than ever the world needs to demonstrate emission reductions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

"If globally implemented, the Kigali Amendment has the potential to prevent up to 80 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent of emissions by 2050, as well as avoid 0.4°C of future warming by the end of the century. When paired with energy efficiency measures, the positive impact could double,” said Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment.

Fast-tracking implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol would add to the growing global momentum which is needed for a successful COP26 and achieving the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. 

So far, 127 countries have ratified the amendment.

"On this day of the Kigali Amendment anniversary, let’s urge the world to look to the continued leadership of Rwanda along with other parties to ensure that the Kigali Amendment will flourish to achieve all its objectives and benefits,” said Megumi Seki, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat.

She acknowledged and appreciated Rwanda for its leadership in pursuing energy efficiency.

"At the Kigali meeting, Rwanda was the proponent of the first-ever decision on energy efficiency under the Montreal Protocol," she added.

54 percent of imported gases reduced.

The deal seeks to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Juliet Kabera, Director-General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority, said that Rwanda has so far reduced 54 per cent of such gases that used be to imported into the country.

The gases are used in cooling equipment such as refrigerants and air conditioners.

She said that Rwanda has adopted a national cooling strategy and the implementation of the Africa Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES) at the University of Rwanda.

The Kigali Amendment also provides an opportunity for improved energy efficiency in the cooling sector.

Replacing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), ozone-depleting gases, offers an opportunity to redesign air conditioning and refrigeration to use less power, allowing expansion of comfort cooling and cold chain efficiencies without increasing climate impacts, she said.

The combination of reducing HFCs consumption and improved cold chain efficiencies, particularly in countries like Rwanda, will also combat food loss as around one-third of all food produced globally for human consumption is either lost or wasted each year, largely due to a lack of access to cold chains, officials said.

Food loss and wastes amount to billions of dollars a year, not only wasting precious resources such as land, water, and energy but also generating an estimated 8 per cent of total greenhouse gases per year globally.