The CCAC celebrates International Ozone Day

Montreal Protocol's success shows its potential to reduce climate warming hydrofluorocarbons

Today is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The Coalition congratulates the Montreal Protocol partners for their success at progressively restoring the ozone layer, which protects all life on the planet from deadly levels of ultraviolet rays and prevent up to 2 million cases of skin cancer across the world annually.

In 1989 the Montreal Protocol was established to repair the ozone layer by phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). It has been remarkably successful. This year scientists identified the “first fingerprints of healing” of the Antarctic ozone layer. The ozone hole above the Antarctic has shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers — about half the area of the contiguous United States — since 2000, when ozone depletion was at its peak.

The Montreal Protocol could be just as successful at reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - chemicals used to replace ozone depleting substances in air-conditioners and refrigeration systems but which have since been found to have a global warming potential 100's to 1000's times that of carbon dioxide.

In his message to celebrate International Ozone Day, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon said "we must turn ambition into action, and strengthen climate protection by harnessing the power of the Montreal Protocol to make progress in slowing the near-term warming caused by HFCs, the fastest growing of the greenhouse gases."

In a video message UN Environment Chief, Erik Solheim, said that the Montreal Protocol was an example of the world coming together to solve an environmental crisis. Leaders didn't just talk "but they walked the talk, and today we can safely say that every government on the entire planet has implemented the protocol and we have been able to phase out [ozone depleting] gases".

UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim's Ozone Day 2016 Message

UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim's Ozone Day 2016 Message
UN Environment Chief Erik Solheim's Ozone Day 2016 Message

Helena Molin Valdes, Head of the UN Environment hosted Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat, said Coalition partners were collectively pursuing an ambitious amendment to phase-down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.

"The success of the Montreal Protocol shows what can be achieved when the world comes together to take urgent action to protect our environment. Phasing-down HFCs under the same protocol is one of the most significant acts the world can do for our climate this year," Ms Molin Valdes said. "Passing a strong HFC phase-down amendment next month in Kigali, Rwanda, will reinforce the global commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and contribute greatly to keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius."

CCAC Ministers released a communiqué in Vienna last July in which they confirmed their "support and commitment to rapid action to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol".

The communiqué noted that a HFC phase-down under the Montreal Protocol will reduce one of the fastest growing classes of greenhouse gases and can avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the turn of the century.


Montreal Protocol Achievements

Montreal Protocol Achievements
Video: Montreal Protocol achievements

Expert assistance

Our Expert Assistance is a no-cost service that connects you to an extensive network of professionals for consultation and advice on a range of short-lived climate pollution issues and policies.  

Experts will provide guidance on technological options, mitigation measures (like those carried out by our initiatives), funding opportunities, application of measurement tools, and policy development.

Request assistance


Back to Top