As the world prepares to celebrate the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer tomorrow (16 September), hopes are high that a global HFC phase-down agreement will be reached during Montreal Protocol talks in October.
Parties to the Montreal Protocol are expected to reach an agreement on phasing down HFC production and consumption at international talks in Kigali, Rwanda on 8-14 October. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, reducing HFCs under the Montreal Protocol can avoid 0.5°C of global warming by the end of the century. This would significantly help countries to meet their climate obligations under December 2015’s Paris Agreement.
The Montreal Protocol “has been one of the greatest success stories of environmental negotiations ever, or any negotiations ever,” said UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim. “Every government on the entire planet has implemented [it] and we […] have been able to phase out […] poisonous, deadly gases.”
Solheim said, “we are very close to a [HFC phase-down] deal in Kigali”.
The theme of this year’s Ozone Day is ‘Ozone and climate: Restored by a world united’ in recognition of the last three decades of efforts to restore the atmosphere.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently found that the thinning of the ozone layer above Antarctica is starting to heal thanks to the banning of CFC gases by Montreal Protocol signatories.