Canada contributes to major international agreement to protect the ozone layer and tackle climate change



    MONTREAL, Sept. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Environment Minister
John Baird, is pleased to announce that countries attending the Montreal
Protocol conference have reached a major agreement to speed up the phase-out
of chemicals that harm the ozone layer and cause climate change.
    "The Montreal Protocol, already considered the most successful
environmental agreement to date, will do even more to protect both the ozone
layer as well as the most pressing issue of our time - climate change,"
Minister Baird said. "Today's announcement demonstrates the kind of concrete
action citizens around the world are demanding."
    At the start of the conference Minister Baird challenged the
international community to speed up the phase-out of chemicals that deplete
the ozone layer and cause climate change. Under the agreement, 191 countries
have agreed to aggressively accelerate the elimination of the last ozone
depleting substances of importance, called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).
This will be accomplished by advancing the freeze of HCFCs production and
consumption by 3 years in developing countries. That will be followed by the
addition of an ambitious series of reductions leading to a phase out 10 years
sooner.
    Previously, there were no limits imposed prior to the phase-out in
developing countries which was scheduled for 2040. In addition, developed
countries have agreed to an accelerated schedule for the phase out of
production and consumption by 2020.
    "What's even more remarkable is we have an agreement on ozone and climate
change that includes China, India and the United States," said Minister Baird.
"This is encouraging as the world meets next week to fight climate change at
the United Nations and in Washington."
    "Countries have also reaffirmed their commitment to this significant
agreement to protect human health and the environment by adopting the Montreal
Declaration," said Minister Baird. "The agreements reached in Montreal this
week will hopefully provide an example for upcoming climate change meetings in
New York, in Washington and in Bali over the coming weeks and months."
    "Historic is an often over-used word but not in the case of this
agreement made in Montreal. Governments had a golden opportunity to deal with
the twin challenges of climate change and protecting the ozone layer - and
governments took it. The precise and final savings in terms of greenhouse gas
emissions could amount to several billions of tonnes illustrating the
complementarities of international environmental agreements," said
Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

    On Monday, September 24, the Prime Minister will participate in a high
level event on climate change at the United Nations in New York. Later in the
week, Minister Baird will lead Canada's delegation at the Major Economies
Initiative in Washington. At both of these events, Canada will continue its
leadership role in pushing for a global framework for fighting climate change
beyond 2012.

    For more information, please visit www.ec.gc.ca

    (Egalement offert en français)

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Environment Canada, Media
Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008


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