World Ozone Day looks to HFC phasedown

World Ozone Day

As the world celebrated World Ozone Day on 16th September, Inger Anderson, Executive Director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), explained how the decisive global response to the ozone layer depletion has become a model of international cooperation. She underlined the importance of the Kigali Amendment to phase down HFCs.

In 1985, the world’s governments adopted the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. Under the Convention’s Montreal Protocol, governments, scientists and industry worked together to cut out 99 per cent of all ozone-depleting substances. A large proportion of these substances were CFC and HCFC refrigerants, commonly used by the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is healing and expected to return to pre-1980 values by mid-century. In support of the Protocol, the Kigali Amendment, which came into force in 2019, works towards reducing HFCs, greenhouse gases with powerful climate-warming potential and damaging to the environment.

While celebrating the 35 years of the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer through ‘international cooperation’, Inger Anderson said, “Such cooperation demonstrates that when people work together, they can fix problems on a global scale. We need this unity of purpose more than ever, as we seek to address nature loss, climate change and pollution in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the discussions on the replenishment of the multilateral fund.”

The ozone treaties have a major role to play in this work. Particularly, through the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal protocol. “The Kigali Amendment has now been ratified by 100 parties and, fully implemented, will prevent 0.4-dehree C of global warming,” she added.

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