Global summit on ozone layer opens in Kigali
Written by: Daniel Tuyizere
Monday, October 10th, 2016, 12:13
The 28th meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol, known as MOP28 officially kicked-off Monday in Kigali. Over 1,000 participants are expected in the meeting targeting to pass an ambitious amendment to the Protocol that would phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons.
“Our collective efforts over many decades will impact not only the next generation, but also the future of humanity,” underlined Dr Vincent Biruta, Rwanda’s minister of natural resources. He added that, in almost thirty years since the Montreal Protocol was agreed upon, it has achieved great success like an almost complete end in the use of the substances causing the most harm to the ozone layer.
The minister called for collective efforts towards a clear cause to the amendment which could avoid up to half a degree of warming by the end of the century.
The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer is widely regarded to be one of the most successful environmental treaties ever. It was the first treaty to achieve universal ratification.
Leaders from different countries, organizations, ozone preservation and low carbon development experts are expected to discuss an amendment that if passed, will result in the early phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), strong greenhouse gases used mainly in refrigeration, solvents, propellants and aerosols with a high global warming potential.
Successful talks in Kigali could avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming by the end of the century by phasing out the use of dangerous greenhouse gases. The amendment would signal the international community’s commitment to practical action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to 2°C, and the more ambitious target of 1.5°C.
Rwanda is recognized for its leading role in implementing the Montreal Protocol, exceeding targets and beating deadlines set under the treaty. This includes achieving zero use of chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) ozone-depleting substances by 2010, a year before the set deadline earning the country the 2012 Ozone Protection Award from the Ozone Secretariat.
The weeklong summit has attracted international leaders and experts, some that have confirmed attendance include Dr Hakima El Haite, Moroccan minister of environment -President of COP 22, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Executive Secretary of UNEP, Director General of the Global Green Growth Institute, Dr Frank Rijsberman among other officials.