Health

Canada joins global leaders in adopting the Kigali Amendment

Canada joins Kigali Amendment

Canada is the eleventh country to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on phase-down of the global use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

In an announcement on twitter yesterday, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Catherine McKenna revealed Canada had joined a growing list of countries to address a major global problem that threatens our health and environment—the planet’s thinning ozone layer.

Canada’s ratification of the Kigali Amendment means nine more countries would be needed for the deal to enter into force by January 2019.

Countries that have so far ratified the Kigali Amendment include Mali, the Federate State of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Rwanda, Palau, Norway, Chile, Tuvalu, Slovakia and The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The Kigali Amendment is an amendment to the Montreal Protocol aimed at protecting the climate and the ozone layer by phasing down ‘the powerful climate-warming pollutants called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Hydrofluorocarbons or ‘HFCs’ have been increasingly used in the last decade or so as an alternative to ozone damaging CFCs in refrigeration systems. Unfortunately, though they provide an effective alternative to CFCs, they can also be powerful greenhouse gases with long atmospheric lifetimes. [GHG].

More than 170 countries agreed upon the amendment in October of 2016, during the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in Kigali/Rwanda.

It was described by experts as the largest temperature reduction deal ever achieved in a single agreement.

With a deadline of January 2019 being a year away, there is growing optimism that the initiative would get the support needed to meet its goals of reducing the use of dangerous HFCs.

‘Even though the amendment is not yet active, a number of countries, including Rwanda, are already developing management plans and phase-down schedules for HFCs’, according to Rwanda’s New Times.

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