Montreal Protocol Current Affairs - 2020
India has decided to eliminate use of HFC-23, a greenhouse gas (GHG) that harms the ozone layer by 2030. With this, India, is taking the lead on tackling climate change.
It was announced during the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol at Kigali in Rwanda. In this meeting, final negotiations are taking place to substantially reduce the use of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) by 2030.
- The elimination will potentially check emissions of HFC-23 equivalent to 100 million tonnes of CO2 over the next 15 years.
- Indian companies will not be compensated for the costs involved in ensuring that these gases are not released.
- This move is considered as a major break away from the concept of financial assistance for every action on environment in which India earlier had shown the lead.
What is HFC-23?
HFC-23 is a by-product of HCFC-22 (Hydrochloroflurocarbon-22), which is used in industrial refrigeration. It is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) with global warming potential of 14,800 times more than that of CO2.
What is Montreal Protocol?
- The Montreal Protocol, is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer. It came into force in 1989.
- It aims at reducing the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in order to protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer.
- It has been ratified by 197 parties making it universally ratified protocol in United Nations history.
- It is also highly successful international arrangement, as it has phased-out more than 95% of the ODS so far in its main mandate less than 30 years of its existence.
Tags: Environment • Global Warming • Green House Gases • HFC 23 • Montreal Protocol
The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is observed every year on September 16 for the preservation of the Ozone Layer.
Significance of the Day: The day is commemoration of the date in 1987 on which the Montreal Protocol was signed on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
2016 theme: “Ozone and climate: Restored by a world united”. The theme recognizes the collective efforts of the parties to the Montreal Protocol and Vienna Convention towards the restoration of the ozone layer over the past three decades and the global commitment to combat climate change.
Background: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had designated 16 September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on December 19, 1994.
What is Ozone Layer?
- The ozone layer is a region of Earth’s stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation that may cause skin cancer.
- 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.
Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
- It is an international treaty designed to protect the 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, this international agreement 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 the Protection of the Ozone Layer
- It is a Multilateral Environmental Agreement that was 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.