Nairobi, 14 July 2020 – That Kigali Amendments to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to cut the use of climate warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), has reached a major milestone, with Liberia becoming 100 countries.th countries to ratify the Amendments, giving a welcome boost to global climate action.
The Amendment targets a massive reduction in the use of HFCs, which is a substitute for refrigerants that are widely used for ozone-depleting substances that have been eliminated under the Montreal Protocol. HFC is a climate warming gas with significant global warming potential.
Liberia is the latest country to ratify the amendment, part of an acceleration trend of countries that agreed to the agreement and began working to gradually reduce gas; Mali was the first to ratify the Amendment in 2017, followed by the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Rwanda. The European Union – along with most of its member states – is a party block for the Montreal Protocol; together with others, this allows the Amendment to take effect on 1 January 2019. Other new parties to ratify the Amendment include Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, the Holy See and Romania.
“When we deal with the effects of a global pandemic, it is very important not to forget climate action,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program. “Climate change can cause more misery and disruption than COVID-19; we must be firm in our efforts to limit it.
“The Kigali amendment which reached 100 ratifications is therefore good news. Amendments are a powerful tool to keep our planet cool. I thank the countries that have ratified it and encouraged 98 other countries to follow suit and help ensure a safer future for all humanity. “
The 2016 Kigali Amendment requires a HFC phase of high global warming potential of more than 80 percent (in CO2-Ecivalent) for the next 30 years. It is estimated that avoided emissions by 2100 could reach 5.6 to 8.7 gigatons of CO2-Equal per year. In total, this will be worth more than ten years from the current annual CO emissions2 because of human activity. This will avoid global warming of up to 0.4 ° C by the end of the century.
Replacing HFCs also creates opportunities to increase the energy efficiency of refrigeration equipment by 10-50 percent, significantly reducing energy costs for consumers and businesses.
The amendment was built on the success of the Montreal Protocol, which was established in 1987 to protect human health and the environment caused by ozone depletion. With universal support from 198 parties, the Montreal Protocol has led removal of almost 99 percent of ozone-depleting substances.
The ozone layer is now well on its way to recovery. The benefits of the Protocol include up to two million cases of skin cancer prevented each year by 2030, estimated at US $ 1.8 trillion in global health benefits and nearly US $ 460 billion in avoiding damage to agriculture and fisheries until 2060.
Ozone protection efforts also avoid around 135 billion tons TOGETHER2– Equal emissions from 1990 to 2010. In the absence of the Montreal Protocol, global average temperatures could rise by more than 2 ° C in 2070, because heating is only from ozone-depleting substances.
“Every ratification of the Kigali Amendment brings us closer to emulating the success of the Montreal Protocol in dealing with ozone-depleting substances,” said Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary Ozone Secretariat. “This success is built on countries that work together. I am happy to see 100 ratifications and look forward to many more in the coming months and years. “
NOTE FOR EDITORS
About the UN Environment Ozone Secretariat
That UN Environment Ozone Secretariat is the Secretariat for the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances which Drain the Ozone Layer. The Secretariat facilitates and supports the parties to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol and other stakeholders in implementing actions to protect and heal the ozone layer and contribute to climate change mitigation.
About the United Nations Environment Program
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling countries and communities to improve their quality of life without reducing the quality of future generations.
For further information please contact:
Keishamaza Rukikaire, Head of News and Media, United Nations Environment Program
Stephanie Haysmith, Communication Officer, Ozone Secretariat