OTTAWA, Sept. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Canada's Minister of the Environment, the Honourable Peter Kent, issued the following statement on the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
"Twenty-five years ago, the world gathered in Montreal to take on a problem endangering the safety of our families, and the state of our planet - the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances.
"With Canada at the forefront, both then and now, this meeting led to the creation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Celebrating its 25th anniversary on Sunday, September 16, 2012, it is clear that this treaty is one of the best that has ever been written. One hundred and ninety-seven countries have now signed onto the Montreal Protocol.
"Canada has been a world leader in atmospheric ozone science for more than 50 years. Twenty-five years ago, we contributed key scientific information that laid the groundwork for the development of the Montreal Protocol andwe have continued to play a key role in this field of research and restoration.
"In 1992, Environment Canada scientists developed the UV Index; a tool used around the world, and of critical importance to Canadian parents who use it to protect their children from over-exposure to harmful UV radiation. Environment Canada scientists also developed the Brewer Ozone Spectrophotometer, recognized globally as the most accurate ozone-measuring instrument to date. In fact, in September 2007, three Environment Canada scientists were awarded the innovator's award from the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat. And most recently, an Environment Canada official was elected President of the World Meteorological Organization in 2011, the organization that houses the UV data centre.
"Thanks to the Montreal Protocol and a strong foundation of Canadian-made, Canadian-led science, we are making progress in the restoration of the ozone layer. As a result of our efforts, ozone-depleting substance consumption in Canada has been reduced by almost 100%.
"However, there is more work to be done and we will continue to ensure full implementation of the Montreal Protocol worldwide. Canada is promoting a North American proposal to add HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) to the protocol. As HFCs are potent greenhouse gases that are used as substitutes to ozone-depleting chemicals, using this powerful agreement is another means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally.
"In addition, Canada was one of the six founding countries of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, which will yield positive results in the near-term as we continue to make progress in our efforts to reduce emissions from longer-lived greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide.
"Today, the Montreal Protocol is a model international agreement for achieving environmental results, including contributing to the fight against climate change. As some ozone-depleting substances are also powerful greenhouse gases, international action has cut the equivalent of about 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
"Not only has the Montreal Protocol had a major impact on our daily lives, and the health and safety of our children, it has served for twenty-five years as an example of what the global community can achieve, when it comes together and commits to real action."
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SOURCE: Environment Canada
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