MONTRÉAL, Nov. 25, 2017 /CNW/ - International cooperation is key to protecting our ozone layer and tackling climate change to ensure a sustainable planet for generations to come.
This week, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, welcomed colleagues from around the world for the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol—and to celebrate the historic ratification of the Kigali Amendment by over 20 countries.
The Kigali Amendment—which will come into force in January 2019—is a global agreement to phase down greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons. Found in refrigerators, foam products, and air conditioners, they are hundreds to thousands of times more powerful drivers of climate change than carbon dioxide. Each year, hydrofluorocarbon sources emit the carbon-dioxide equivalent that is released by 300 coal-fired power plants.
By phasing down these chemicals, the world could avoid 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. Canada urges all countries to ratify the amendment.
Earlier this week, Minister McKenna opened the meetings, with the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney. On Thursday, the Minister opened the High Level Segment with the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Erik Solheim, and participated in a round table discussion with fellow ministers from approximately 30 countries.
In addition, Canada's Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer, led an engaging science-panel discussion, in Montréal, which focused on ozone-layer protection and recovery, hydrofluorocarbons, climate change, and more.
Minister McKenna also participated in the Ozone Awards ceremony, where extraordinary efforts in protecting the ozone layer were recognized. Three Canadians were among the award winners, and a summary of their achievements is available on Environment and Climate Change Canada's website.
"The Montreal Protocol is an environmental, economic, and international success. The lessons we learn from its success—urgency, collaboration, and innovation—are lessons we bring to the fight against climate change. Together, we can protect the environment and strengthen our economy, today, and for our children and grandchildren."
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- Since its implementation, the Montreal Protocol phased out almost 100 of the most ozone-depleting substances; it reduced emissions equivalent to over 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide; and it continues to help the recovery of the hole in the Earth's protective ozone layer.
- The Montreal Protocol is the most successful international environmental agreement that has eliminated over 99 percent of substances that were thinning the Earth's protective ozone layer. The Earth's ozone layer acts like a shield, absorbing ultraviolet radiation from the Sun and providing protection from harmful rays.
- Canada recently published new regulations that will reduce its annual consumption of hydrofluorocarbons by 85 percent, by 2036. HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases used in commercial, industrial, and residential applications such as refrigeration, air-conditioning, foam insulation, and aerosols.
- Canada ratifies global agreement to reduce powerful greenhouse gases and heads to international climate change conference to urge climate action
- Canada and Rwanda agree to cooperate on environmental protection and climate change
- Proposed regulations amending the ozone-depleting substances and halocarbon alternatives regulations
- Canadian Recipients of 2017 Ozone Awards
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
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