Ozone layer is recovering, says UN

Note4studnets

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Montreal Protocol, Kigali Agreement

Mains level: Success of international collaboration against Ozone Depletion


News

  • Evidence has shown that the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 percent per decade since 2000, a/c to UNEP and WMO.

Success of Montreal Protocol

  1. The four-yearly review of the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 ban on man-made gases that damage the fragile high-altitude ozone layer was held.
  2. It found that long-term decreases in the atmospheric abundance of controlled ozone-depleting substances and the ongoing recovery of stratospheric ozone.
  3. The Antarctic ozone hole is recovering, while continuing to occur every year.
  4. As a result of the Montreal Protocol much more severe ozone depletion in the polar regions has been avoided.
  5. The Antarctic ozone hole was expected to gradually close, returning to 1980 levels in the 2060s, the report said.

Complete healing

  1. At projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060.
  2. In the Arctic, annual variations were much larger, making it hard to confirm whether there had been a definite recovery in the layer since 2000.

Cautions

  1. While most of the banned gases have been phased out, the report found at least one violation of the protocol: an unexpected increase in production and emissions of CFC-11 from eastern Asia since 2012.
  2. If CFC-11 emissions continued at the same rate, return of mid-latitude and polar ozone-depleting chemicals to their 1980 values would be delayed by about 7 and 20 years, respectively.

Back2Basics

Montreal Protocol

  1. It seeks to cut the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in order to protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer.
  2. It also aims at phase out HCFCs by 2030. It came into force in 1989 and has been ratified by 197 parties making it universally ratified protocol in UN history.
  3. It is also highly successful international arrangement, as it has phased-out more than 95% of the ODS so far as per its main mandate in less than 30 years of its existence.
  4. Under the Montreal Protocol, the accelerated phase out of Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) is underway with a aim to complete phase out by 2030 of these chemicals that result in ozone depletion and aid global warming.

Kigali Amendment

  1. The Kigali Amendment amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol that was designed to close growing ozone hole in by banning ozone-depleting coolants like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
  2. Thus, amended Montreal Protocol which was initially conceived only to plug gases that were destroying the ozone layer now includes HFCs responsible for global warming.
  3. This move will help to prevent a potential 0.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperature by the end of the century.
  4. The Kigali Agreement or amended Montreal Protocol for HFCs reduction will be binding on countries from 2019.
  5. It also has provisions for penalties for non-compliance.
  6. Under it, developed countries will also provide enhanced funding support estimated at billions of dollars globally.
Air Pollution
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