• Experts push measures to save ozone layer


    KIGALI: Climate change experts have called for strong and concrete actions to save the ozone layer in a sustainable manner.

    They made the call during the opening technical session of the 28th Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP28) in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.

    “All countries globally should come up with a strong commitment to protect the ozone layer and ensure that a legislation that is among the strictest actions is put in place to save Ozone layer from depleting substances,” said Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Program.

    She added that it is time for countries to implement what has been agreed under the Montreal Protocol on protecting the ozone layer and speed up the process to phase out dangerous substances faster than required.

    “We should celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol in 2017 with an agreement on phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),” she said.

    The meeting has attracted international leaders and ozone preservation and low carbon development experts from all over the world to discuss an amendment to the Montreal Protocol treaty.

    According to Coletha Ruhamya, director general of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Rwanda supports all efforts geared towards phasing down all dangerous substances that deplete the ozone layer.

    “Hydrofluorocarbons must be phased down. Let’s all support an ambitious amendment to the Montreal Protocol by reducing the use of HFCs, the super-potent climate pollutants found in air conditioners, refrigerators, supermarket freezers, and other uses, “ she noted.

    A successful amendment to the protocol would signal the international community’s commitment to practical action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement — limiting global warming to below 2°C, and the more ambitious target of 1.5°C.

    The Montreal Protocol is a global agreement that protects the ozone layer by phasing out the production of substances responsible for ozone depletion and climate change.

    It was first signed on September 16, 1987, and is widely considered to be one of the most-effective multilateral environment treaties ever negotiated. It’s the only treaty in the United Nations system to which every country is a signatory.

    According to the United Nations Environment Program, HFC emissions are growing at a rate of about 7 percent annually. If the current mix of HFCs is unchanged, increasing demand could result in HFC emissions of up to 8.8 gigatons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2050.



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