How greenhouse gases made their way to the Montreal Protocol?←
On October 15, 2016, the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted so called the Kigali amendment which took its name from the Rwanda’s capital, a city where the amendment was signed. While other amendments specified and expanded requirements for ozone-depleting substances, the new document covers hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), substances safe for the stratospheric ozone but having strong greenhouse effect.
“I brought you into this world”
HFC are halogenated hydrocarbons containing fluorine and no chlorine, so they are safe for the ozone layer. These substances were synthesized to replace ozone-depleting ones in refrigerating, air-conditioning and fire protection equipment, foam and heat insulation materials, solvents and aerosols. Phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) under the Montreal Protocol contributed to the very widespread occurrence of HFC.
But despite being harmless to the ozone layer, those are not what you’d think of as an eco-friendly alternative. High global warming potential makes HFC emissions to cause climate change acknowledged to be one of the major problems of the humankind.
Why the Montreal Protocol?
Does that mean the Protocol which successfully dealt with the threat of the ozone layer destruction simply exacerbated the global warming? No. Moreover, research by the US Oceanic and Atmospheric Research published in journal of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the Montreal Protocol made for reduction of greenhouse gases more than any other measure taken by the international community.
The point is that HCFC and HFC are fluorinated greenhouse gases and their phase-out not only saves the ozone layer but reduces the greenhouse effect.
So, it would be logical to exploit the success by including HFC into the Montreal Protocol. In 2011, Canada, Mexico and USA proposed an amendment providing for inclusion of HFC in the controlled substances. In 2013, the Federated States of Micronesia advanced a similar initiative. In 2016, such a document has finally been approved in Kigali.
The amendment having been ratified by 20 countries (the last one was Sweden, 20.11.2017), the commencement date was specified, January 1, 2019.
The amendment adds global warming potential for 100 years for HCFC (Annex C) and Annex F with the list of 18 HFC, and defines HFC phase-out schedule.
For the Russian Federation and Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the schedule is as follows:
- 2020–2024, the consumption to be 95% of the baseline,
- 2025–2028, 65%,
- 2029–2033, 30%,
- 2034–2035, 20%,
- since 2036, 15%.
The baseline for these countries will be equal to HFC consumtion in 2011–2013 plus 25% of the HFCC baseline.
For the text of the Kigali amendment, please, to go section Legal framework.