Good things are happening! The U.S. is finally taking action to phase out super-pollutants, New York becomes the next state to phase out gas-powered vehicles, and California is rolling out new policies to transition away from natural gas in homes. Also, a referendum in Cuba has redefined rights for families, while farmworkers have just won historic labor protections.
All this and much more in this week’s edition of You Love To See It, available below.
U.S. Eliminates Super-Pollutants
Last week, the Senate ratified an international climate agreement — the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol — designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
HFCs are chemicals that leak from cooling appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners. HFCS can be thousands of times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of heating the planet. Cutting their use could prevent half a degree Celsius of global warming by the end of the century, a vital step when every tenth of a degree matters.
The Kigali Amendment was being negotiated by countries participating in the Montreal Protocol in 2016, but President Trump never sent the amendment to the Senate. However, in December 2020, Congress passed the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, which empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to phase out 85 percent of HFCs over 15 years. Now that target will be increased to 100 percent of these super-pollutants.