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
- 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
- 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.
- It found that long-term decreases in the atmospheric abundance of controlled ozone-depleting substances and the ongoing recovery of stratospheric ozone.
- The Antarctic ozone hole is recovering, while continuing to occur every year.
- As a result of the Montreal Protocol much more severe ozone depletion in the polar regions has been avoided.
- The Antarctic ozone hole was expected to gradually close, returning to 1980 levels in the 2060s, the report said.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It seeks to cut the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in order to protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- This move will help to prevent a potential 0.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperature by the end of the century.
- The Kigali Agreement or amended Montreal Protocol for HFCs reduction will be binding on countries from 2019.
- It also has provisions for penalties for non-compliance.
- Under it, developed countries will also provide enhanced funding support estimated at billions of dollars globally.