A historic global climate deal has been signed in Kigali, Rwanda at the 28th Meeting of the Parties (MoP 28) to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This agreement which amend the Montreal Protocol, aims to phase out Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by the late 2040s. Under Kigali Amendment, 197 countries including India have agreed to reduce the use of HFCs by roughly 85% of their baselines by 2045.
More than 190 countries, after a weeklong meeting in the picturesque capital of Rwanda, decided to phase out the use of HFCs over the next 30 years. These nations mutually agreed on a time-table to stop use of gases whose elimination could reduce global warming by 0.5°C by 2100.
The HFC agreement establishes timetables for all developed and developing countries to freeze and then reduce their production and use of HFCs, chemicals used in air conditioning, refrigeration, insulating foams, and other applications. This agreement is being seen as a potentially major step in curbing global warming.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is legally binding and will come into force from January 1, 2019.
This amendment seek to amend the 1987 Montreal Protocol on substance that deplete ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol sets binding progressive phase out obligations for developed and developing countries for all the major ozone depleting substances, including CFCs, halons and less damaging transitional chemicals such as HCFCs. With this amendment in place, now HFCs which are responsible for global warming will also become part of the protocol.
It also has provisions for penalties for non-compliance. Under the agreement developed countries will provide enhanced funding support estimated at billions of dollars globally. However the exact amount of additional funding support from developed countries will be taken-up for discussion in the next meeting of parties in 2017.
The agreement is based on differential treatment to countries based on implementation capacities. Under the official timetable released, rich countries will have to take action earlier than poorer nations. Developed nations will begin phasing down HFC gases by 2019, and developing countries will follow suit by 2024.
The deal aims at total elimination of these emissions by 2050, preventing a 0.5° Celsius rise in world temperatures by the end of the century. It is thus vital in helping the Paris climate target of keeping global temperature rise within 2° Celsius this century.
Different Timelines under Kigali Amendment
The Kigali agreement contains three tracks for HFC reductions, determined by a country’s wealth and need for air conditioning. Three different groups has been identified under this arrangement with different timeline to phase out use of HFCs.
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