The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is ratified by IndiaContext:
- India has opted to ratify a critical amendment to the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which was negotiated five years ago.
- The Kigali Amendment, named after the Rwandan capital where it was negotiated, allows for the phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons, a class of chemicals known for their ability to cause global warming.
- Because HFCs, a group of 19 gases widely used in the air-conditioning and refrigerant industries, are known to be hundreds, if not thousands, of times more potent than carbon dioxide in their ability to cause global warming, the 2016 amendment was seen as one of the most significant breakthroughs in global efforts to combat climate change.
- A complete phase-out of HFCs by 2050 is expected to avert a 0.5 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures by the end of the century.
- As a result, this critical tool is critical to meeting the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. The average temperature of the earth has already risen by nearly 1.1 degrees Celsius, according to a recent assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- The Montreal Protocol is a highly effective international environmental convention that aims to eliminate ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) from the atmosphere.
- It was enacted in 1989.
- The protocol has 197 signatories, making it the first international treaty to be fully ratified.
- It has been amended multiple times, and the Kigali modification is the protocol’s eighth amendment.
- has successfully reduced the generation of chlorofluorocarbons and other ODSs by 98 percent and made a significant contribution to the ozone hole correction
- Hydrofluorocarbons are organic molecules that contain hydrogen, carbon, and fluorine as well as other elements.
- They’re often employed in freezers and air conditioners as a substitute for ozone-depleting compounds like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
- Despite the fact that HFCs are not as detrimental to the ozone layer as CFCs, they have a thousand times the potential to cause global warming than well-known greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.
Important Points in the Kigali Agreement
- It is a legally binding agreement between the signing parties with non-compliance measures that will take effect on January 1, 2019 if at least 20 member parties have approved it by then.
- It has demonstrated a great deal of flexibility in defining phase-down targets for various economies, taking into account their developmental aspirations, socioeconomic compulsions, and scientific and technological capabilities.
The signatory parties have been grouped into three groups:
- The first category includes industrialized economies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, which will begin phasing out HFCs in 2019 and reduce them to 15% of 2012 levels by 2036.
- The second category includes growing economies like China and Brazil, as well as several African countries, which will begin phasing out emissions by 2024 and reduce them to 20% of levels in 2021 by 2045.
- The third category includes developing economies and some of the world’s warmest climate countries, such as India, Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, which will begin phasing out HFCs in 2028 and lower them to 15% of their levels in 2024-2026 by 2047.
- It also includes a proposal for a multinational adaptation and mitigation fund for developing countries.
- The Technology and Energy Assessment Panel (TEAP) will evaluate alternative technologies and products on a regular basis for their energy efficiency and safety.
The Importance of the Kigali Agreement
- It enhances the Paris Agreement, which sets an ambitious goal of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- Unlike the Paris Agreement, it sets specific, tangible, and mandatory targets for signatory parties to meet, along with deadlines.
- It would prevent the release of 70 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent in HFCs.