Econ371 Extra Credit Writing Assignment

Kigali Agreement

Tianhang Cui
5 min readDec 19, 2020
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From class, we have introduced the Montreal Protocol. An amendment to the Montreal Protocol, Kigali Agreement, is being used to continue phasing out the earth’s atmospheric ozone-depleting contaminants. As we learned in class, we know the Montreal Protocol is an international agreement that was mostly successful, and the Kigali Agreement made this agreement to catch up with the current climate situation in the world.

Ozone depletion by CFCs and heat trapped by HFCs (Cited from lecture 11)

As we learned in class, the Montreal Protocol was mainly designed for chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs), which is one crucial factor for ozone depletion, but there is also another kind of greenhouse gas named hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs) that will increase the world temperature by trapping the extra emitted heat. An interesting story is that after the Montreal Protocol was published, most of the industries used hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs) to replace the use of chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs), in this way they followed the agreement, and the ozone depletion indeed decreased, but the increased use of hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs) is still contributing to the global warming even though in a less serious way.

So….What can we do for this wide use of HFCs?

The Kigali Agreement was mainly designed for reducing these hydrofluorocarbons emissions. In the battle against greenhouse gases, the Montreal Protocol has been made much more effective with the Kigali Addition.

Damage made by HFCs and the abatement cost to reduce them

First, we need to discuss, in more detail, the damage made by HFCs and the abatement cost to reduce them. Research conducted by scientists at the Earth System Research Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States has shown that the impact of HFCs on the climate may be far more significant than people expected. Even though HFCs do not contain chlorine or bromine atoms that will damage the earth’s ozone layer, they are still very powerful greenhouse gases and can cause a huge amount of damage. It is estimated that from now (2013) to 2050, the use of HFCs will produce 350 to 880 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is almost equivalent to the total annual greenhouse gas emissions of 600 to 700 million tons of the transportation industry. In terms of the abatement cost, based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s work, using Distributed systems requires a negative or low cost to distribute systems, and it is the most promising choice for reducing the largest number of emissions worldwide. For developing countries, there is still some low-cost option for significantly reducing emissions(Godwin, 2004). This tells us that reducing the emission of HFCs would not be hard but we need to take some actions to encourage the change.

What requirements are in the Kigali Agreement?

From class, we know one of the improvements of the Montreal Protocol is it makes different requirements for individual countries to phase out the production and consumption of ODS; there are similar requirements in the Kigali Agreement. The signatory parties were categorized into three by the agreement, under the phase-down schedules for reducing and freezing HFCs production. The first community includes developed countries, which are led by European Union members and the US. These developed countries would have begun the phase-down of HFCs by 2019, then reduced the level to fifteen percent of the 2012 level by 2036. The second group of countries is made up of developing economies, including Brazil, China, and some African countries, which, based on the status of the 2021 point, will begin the phase-down by 2024 and reduce it to 20 percent by 2045. The third category includes some developing countries and some of the highest-template countries, which will start the phase-down by 2028 and decrease the ratio to fifteen percent by 2047 on the basis of 2024 levels(Byjus, 2020). These would attract more industrial countries, which largely depends on the industry with HFCs emissions.

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How countries react to this Kigali Agreement?

It is also essential to see how countries react to this Kigali Agreement, and I will use Canada as an example. Canada used a similar way as quota and subsidy. The government made the Regulations Amending the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations to encourage other materials to replace hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs) and provide subsidy for this transformation(Canada, 2017). As we learned from class, this will decrease the consumption of hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs) and increase the price above the competitive level. This can be considered as a command-and-control policy.

What is the shortage of the Kigali Agreement?

We often talked about that the multinational agreement is hard to punish for the non-compliance. To avoid that, the agreement between the signatories is legally bound by the Kigali Agreement, and non-compliance provisions are in place to ensure its execution. However, I personally think this agreement will still rely on sanctions or moral suasion. As we talked about in class, there is still no international enforcement agency, and there is still no such punishment to force people to comply with the agreement. Most of the non-compliance measures are only still related to moral suasion.

What are the expected social benefits brought by this agreement?

Finally, it is necessary to discuss the social benefits brought by this agreement and put them in dollar values. The UN Environment Program said the benefits of the protocol include the prevention by 2030 of up to 2 million cases of skin cancer per year, an estimated $1.8 trillion in global health benefits, and nearly $460 billion in the prevention of harm to agriculture and fisheries by 2060(Opali,2020).

The signatory parties are expected to reduce HFCs’ production and use by approximately eighty to eighty-five percent from their baselines by 2045 under the terms of the amendment. By the year 2100, global warming will be reduced by stopping the global surface temperature from increasing to 0.5 degrees Celsius. Following ratification by the appropriate number of countries, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances Depleting the Ozone Layer entered into force on January 01, 2019(Byjus, 2020).


Canada, E. (2017, November 08). Canada ratifies global agreement to reduce powerful greenhouse gases and heads to international climate cha… Retrieved December 18, 2020, from

Godwin, D. S. (2004). Analysis of Costs to Abate International Ozone Depleting Substance Substitute Emissions. US EPA Report.

Byjus. (2020, December 16). Kigali Agreement Made Clear for UPSC IAS Exam — UPSC Environment & Ecology. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from

Opali, O. (2020, July 20). Kigali amendment hits 100th ratification boosting climate action. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from