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Kigali Amendment to Montreal protocol

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the atmosphere by terminating gradually the production of substances that deplete the ozone layer. It was first agreed on in September 1987, and come into effect on January 1989.This protocol has welcomed as exceptional international co-operation due to it widespread adoption and implementation.

This protocol is having a great success worldwide because evidences from researches show that cases of skin cancer have been avoided, and so have tens of millions of cases of eye cataracts as a result of the Montreal Protocol(UNEP, 2016). The protocol contributed hugelyto the agricultural development; preventing significant loss of food crops and food security challenges. Likewise, the Protocol has also encouraged significant industrial innovation, resulting in more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration systems, contributing to recovering ozone layer. It is evident that the ozone hole is slowly recovering resulting from the international agreement on reduction of substances depleting the ozone layer. “The amendment to the legally-binding Montreal Protocol ensures that the rich and industrialized countries bring down their HFCs production and consumption by at least 85 per cent compared to their annual average values” UNDP, 2016.

Therefore, the Montreal protocol underwent different amendments, including the recent Kigali amendment adopted in the 28th Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol, on 15 October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Kigali Amendment adds powerful greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to the list of substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol. Under the Amendment, parties will gradually reduce production and consumption of HFCs, creating the potential to avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by the end of the century. In addition, Montreal Protocol parties are required to reduce gradually the use of HFCs by 80-85 per cent by the late 2040s.
The Kigali amendment addresses and takes responsibility toreduce HFCs and plays a leading role in working towards an environmentally sustainable world, and ensures everyone’s contribution; it is as well consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The protocolwill also contribute to the defence actions against climate change even further and the achievement of the goals under the Paris Agreement.

Some of the important amendments to the Montreal Protocol:
(1) Global Warming Potential Values were included to the Protocol text for HFCs, and selected Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The Production, consumption, imports, exports and emissions as well as consumption baselines of HFCs shall be expressed in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents (2) Trade with Parties that have not ratified the Amendment will be banned. The amendments aboveregarding the HFC gases will inter into force from 1 January 2033and the cut-off date for eligible capacity is 1 January 2020 for those Parties with baseline years from 2020 to 2022 and 1 January 2024 for those Parties with baseline years from 2024 to 2026.

Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr. Vincent Biruta, has called on the international community to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. “We have come together to restate our commitment to the Kigali Amendment and to encourage quick ratification. In doing so, we send a strong signal that the world is united in ending the use of hydrofluorocarbons and protecting the climate”. Furthermore, McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change believes that the Kigali Amendment will add to the success of the Montreal Protocol. “The Montreal Protocol is a global success: We came together to overcome one of the greatest environmental threats in recent history. With the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, we will reduce future impacts caused by climate change,” she said.

A critical milestone on this journey will be the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment on 1st January 2019 as long as at least 20 parties have ratified it. Responding to the agreements, businesses are increasingly introducing alternatives to HFCs, in developed and developing countries markets alike in Kigali. These new technologies promise that there is no harm to the ozone layer; being climate-friendly and increasing energy efficiency.
So far, the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer has undergone nine revisions including London (1990), Nairobi (1991), Copenhagen (1992), Bangkok (1993), Vienna (1995), Montreal (1997), Australia (1998), Beijing (1999) and Kigali (2016). The following countries has already ratified the amendment: Australia, Canada, Chile, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Finland, Germany, Lao’s People Democratic Republic, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malawi, Mali, Marshall island, Micronesia (Federal State of), Norway, Palau, Rwanda, Slovakia, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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