By Suely Carvalho
All over the world, millions have gone to the streets for the climate, and the representatives of the people are becoming more aware of this outcry. In September, the European Parliament declared a “climate and environmental emergency.” At the UN Climate Conference (COP-25), in Madrid, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, reaffirmed the support of Americans for the Paris Agreement – even though President Trump has withdrawn the country from the treaty. In Brazil, according to Datafolha, 85% of the population believes that the temperature is rising and 72% agree that we are responsible. The National Congress could prove that is in line with the population by ratifying the Kigali Amendment.
This 2016 addendum to the Montreal Protocol entered into force in 2019. Up to now, 89 countries have ratified it. The text establishes the fall in the consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The impact of HFCs is up to 12,000 times greater than CO2. HFCs are used in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, such as in households. It is calculated that with the Kigali Amendment, the temperature increase will be 0.5°C lower than expected by the end of the century.
The ratification will generate development and jobs. The Amendment encourages the exchange of obsolete technology for those that reduce electricity consumption. Ratifying the Amendment represents access to the Multilateral Fund (MLF) of the Montreal Protocol, which is destined for technological and training conversion programs for refrigeration technicians.
The adoption of measures to stimulate energy efficiency would be sufficient for the reduction of 39.3 TWh by 2035, spent on 11.9 million homes in the period. Furthermore, the change would guarantee R$ 152 billion less in electricity bills between 2021 and 2035. The Brazilian Congress has a commitment with history. Each day lost represents irreparable damage.
This opinion article was originally published on the website of O Globo, on December 31, 2019.
*Suely Carvalho is a consultant for the Institute for Climate and Society (iCS) and an ex-director of the Montreal Protocol Unit at the UNDP