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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A climate policy pursued under former President Obama is poised to create thousands of jobs and lower America’s trade deficit, according to a report backed by a trade group representing some 300 companies in the air conditioning, heating and refrigeration industries.

Why it matters: Usually it’s the other way around, with industry slamming an Obama-era regulation. This issue — phasing down refrigerants that emit powerful greenhouse gas emissions — flips conventional wisdom on its head. The reason why is simple, and it has nothing to do with climate change: Companies like Honeywell, Trane and Carrier have invested millions of dollars adapting to what they have long expected the policy to be, and they want to make sure their investments aren’t wasted.

Gritty details: The report by two industry groups — the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy — was sent Wednesday to the Trump administration.

  • It finds that the United States would reap broad economic gains if the federal government ratifies what’s known as the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
  • The Montreal Protocol is an environmental treaty agreed to 30 years ago to help mend the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer (it’s working.)
  • This new amendment is named after the Rwandan city where world leaders agreed in October 2016 to phase down refrigerants found in appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators that contain greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.
  • For the amendment to go into effect, the administration would need to send it over to the Senate, which then would need to vote to ratify it.
  • The report finds economic gains happen regardless but are greater if the Kigali amendment is ratified, including an additional 33,000 jobs on top of an estimated 138,000 by 2027 and more exports and fewer imports.

For the record: The White House and EPA, both which were sent the report, declined to comment.

What’s next: EPA said recently it’s going to rewrite an Obama-era regulation that was supposed to be how America complies with the amendment. A federal court last year struck down the rule and ordered EPA to rewrite it.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

3 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."