Montreal Protocol Current Affairs

16 September: International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer

The International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer (or World Ozone Day) is observed every year on September 16 for the preservation of the Ozone Layer. This year, the theme for the Day is ‘Caring for all life under the sun’.

The day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 19, 1994. Its observance commemorates the date in 1987 on which the Montreal Protocol was signed on substances that deplete the ozone layer. It also is intended to spread awareness of the depletion of the Ozone Layer and search for solutions to preserve it.

Ozone Layer

The Ozone layer is fragile shield of gas which protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation of Sun and thus helping preserve life on the planet. It contains high concentrations of ozone (O3) in relation to other parts of the atmosphere. Stratospheric Ozone is not harmful, but its presence on land it is harmful. Substances like Chlorofluorocarbons, halons, Carbontetrachloride are responsible for ozone layer depletion.

Montreal Protocol

It is an international treaty designed to protect ozone layer by phasing out production of numerous Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) that are responsible for ozone depletion. It was agreed on 26 August 1987 in Montreal, Canada and entered into force on 26 August 1989.

It was followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. Due to its universality, Montreal Protocol has helped in recovering the ozone hole in Antarctica. Under it production and consumption of key ODSs like chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs), Methyl Chloroform, CTC halons and Methyl Bromide have been phased-out globally.

Vienna Convention for Protection of the Ozone Layer

It is multilateral environmental agreement agreed upon at the 1985 Vienna Conference and entered into force in 1988. It is one of the most successful treaties of all time in terms of universality. It has been ratified by 197 states (all UN members as well as the Niue, Holy See and the Cook Islands) as well as European Union.

It acts as a framework for the international efforts to protect the ozone layer. These are laid out in the accompanying Montreal Protocol. However, it does not include legally binding reduction goals for the use of CFCs, the main chemical agents causing ozone depletion.

Tags:

India launches Stage II of HCFC Phase Out Management Plan

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched Stage II of HCFCs Phase Out Management Plan (HPMP) for the 2017-23 period.

It aims to phase out use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), harmful ozone-depleting substances (ODS) by switching over to non-ozone depleting and low global warming potential technologies.

Under HPMP-II
  • India has secured $44.1 million from Multilateral Fund for implementation of Montreal Protocol for phasing out 8,190 MT of HCFC consumption between 2017 to 2023 to meet targets under the protocol for 2020.
  • More than 400 enterprises, including MSMEs in foam manufacturing sector and 6 large air-conditioning manufacturing enterprises will be supported for conversion to non-HCFC technologies from HCFCs.
  • Energy efficiency, development building codes, cold chain development with non-HCFC alternatives and development of standards for new non-ODS and low GWP alternatives will be promoted.
  • Adequate attention to synergize the Refrigeration and Servicing (RAC) servicing sector trainings will be given with the Skill India Mission, in order to multiply the impact of skilling and training.
  • Nearly, 16, 000 service technicians will be trained under HPMP-II. It will result in net direct CO2-equivalent emission reductions of about 8.5 million metric tonne annually from 2023.
Background

Under the Montreal Protocol, the accelerated phase out of Hydrochlorofluorcarbons (HCFCs) is underway with a aim to complete phase out by 2030 of these chemicals that result in ozone depletion and aid global warming.  At present, HCFCs are used in various sectors like refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC), polyurethane foam manufacturing and cold chains sectors etc. These sectors are directly related to urban development, agriculture through cold chain, and industrial development. India is undertaking phase-out of HCFCs through the implementation of HPMP. The Stage-I of HPMP has been already implemented in the country and has successfully met all the ODS phase-out targets, including those of HPMP Stage-I.

Montreal Protocol: It seeks to cut the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in order to protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer. It also aims at phase out HCFCs by 2030. It came into force in 1989 and has been ratified by 197 parties making it universally ratified protocol in UN history. It is also highly successful international arrangement, as it has phased-out more than 95% of the ODS so far as per its main mandate in less than 30 years of its existence.

Tags:

123