Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

A coalition of manufacturers and chemical makers argue in a new report that the impact on consumers would be limited if the Trump administration and Congress approve a global deal on climate change first agreed to by the Obama administration.

The big picture: Named after the Rwandan city where it was signed in October 2016, the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an environmental treaty, phases down the use of potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are emitted from refrigerants in appliances like air conditioners.

The details: Businesses affected by the policy support it largely because they stand to benefit financially with new products coming online to comply with it. Despite that support, the amendment is facing a skeptical audience in the Trump administration due to concerns about consumer costs when maintaining and purchasing new air conditioners.

  • In response, two industry groups are set to release a report, obtained by Axios, that shows consumers save a little bit — about $6.50 a year — with adoption of the policy. With the policy, consumers would pay on average $1,191.29 a year for their air conditioner, compared to $1,197.74 without it.
  • That’s driven by modeling assumptions that shows the average equipment sold under the new policy would be 1.3% more energy efficient on average compared to the status quo.
  • The report warns of "market chaos" that could lead to high prices and obsolete equipment if rules are implemented without coordinating the phasing down of refrigerants, as laid out in the Kigali policy.

Yes, but: The report assumes consumers transition from their current AC to a new AC with the climate-friendly refrigerants only when they really need to. And beware, some technicians can seize on these changing government rules to encourage people to buy new equipment before it’s necessary.

What's next: For the policy to go into effect in the U.S., the State Department needs to send it over for review and eventual vote in the Senate. That hasn’t occurred, and there’s no sign it will anytime soon, according to people familiar with the process. One industry official said it may not happen at all under Trump, leaving it for the next president. A State Department spokesperson had no comment.

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Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm on Wednesday, bringing with it "life-threatening storm surge and strong winds," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

What the 2020 election means for science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 presidential election presents two stark paths for the direction of future-focused scientific research.

Why it matters: Science is a long game, with today's breakthroughs often stemming from research carried out decades ago, often with government help. That means the person who occupies the White House over the next four years will help shape the state of technology for decades into the future.

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