4 April 2017 Mali has become the first country to ratify the Kigali Amendment, a ground-breaking amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, the United Nations environment agency today announced.
“We urge more countries to follow suit in order to protect our climate,” said Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, in his congratulatory statement.
Countries that ratify the Kigali Amendment commit to cut the production and consumption of greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are frequently used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs).
The goal is to cut HFCs by more than 80 percent over the next 30 years. According to preliminary studies, this could lead to a cut in 0.5 degrees Celsius if fully implemented.
The Kigali Amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2019, provided that it is ratified by at least 20 parties to the Montreal Protocol.
“Through the Kigali Amendment, the Montreal Protocol takes responsibility for HFCs and plays a leading role in working towards an environmentally sustainable world where no one is left behind, consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” UN Environment said in a press release.
The 2030 Agenda includes 17 goals that the world governments universally agreed to try to attain, including one standalone goal on combatting climate change and its impacts.
The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances responsible for its depletion.
The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the sun's ultraviolet rays, thus helping to preserve life on the planet.
Under the Protocol, Governments phased out nearly 99 per cent of close to 100 ozone-depleting substances. This “prevented adverse impacts on agriculture, animals, forests, marine life, natural ecosystems and materials. In addition, up to 2 million cases of skin cancer may be prevented each year by 2030,” according to UN Environment.
Developing countries that are parties to the Kigali Amendment will have access to financial and technical support provided under the Montreal Protocol.
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