The Senate ratified a climate change treaty with rare strong bipartisan support – NPR

by | Sep 22, 2022 | Climate Change

The Senate ratified a climate change treaty with a strong bipartisan vote Wednesday. It phases down hydrofluorocarbons and was unusual because most climate measures struggle to get Republican support.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate did something rare. A bipartisan group of lawmakers voted to ratify an international climate treaty. The Kigali Amendment formally commits the U.S. to curb its use of potent greenhouse gases found in common appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners.
NPR’s Laura Benshoff has been digging into the politics of the vote and whether or not it shows a path for bipartisan climate action. Hi, Laura.
LAURA BENSHOFF, BYLINE: Good afternoon.
SHAPIRO: We almost never get to talk about something like this, so tell us how we got here.
BENSHOFF: It’s true.
SHAPIRO: It’s been a long road.
BENSHOFF: It has been a long road. Major players have been working on this for over a decade. You know, we’ve known for some time that hydrofluorocarbons – or HFCs, these gases you mentioned in refrigerators and other things – were contributing to climate change. And they’re so commonly used that, globally, there’s just tons of opportunities for them to leak. And when they do that, they are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere.
And so the U.S. is home to some b …

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