Zach Pilchen is an attorney with experience serving the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Nature Conservancy, and other internationally recognized environmental organizations. Because his law practice centers on matters related to clean air, climate change, and other environmental issues, Zach Pilchen remains apprised of new developments in environmental law around the world.
In October 2016, delegates from more than 150 nations converged in Rwanda to approve the Kigali Amendment to the preexisting Montreal Protocol. This amendment limits the use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) internationally, a significant victory for environmentalists across the globe.
HFCs are commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners. These potent greenhouse gasses are far more damaging than CO2 on a molecule-by-molecule basis, and their reduction has been lauded as one of the most important steps the world can take to mitigate global warming.
The Kigali Amendment affords certain protections to many developing nations that still rely heavily on HFCs. Some countries will not begin to limit their HFC production for another decade, though more than 100 have promised to take action by 2024. If all goes as planned, the new protocol will eliminate the equivalent of 70 billion metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.