Collaborating on Climate Change - Ozone and Global Warming Experts Get Closer on Common Challenge of F-Gases
16 July 2008, Geneva- An historic meeting, bringing together experts on the ozone layer and ones on climate change has been concluded this week in Geneva, Switzerland.
The meeting centered on how to maximize action on hydroflurocarbons (HFCs)-industrial gases that are ozone-friendly replacements but whose increased use over coming years could have serious impacts on global warming.
The meeting, attended by national and international ozone and climate experts, was facilitated by the Ozone Secretariat of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its Montreal Protocol in cooperation with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol.
The delegates looked at how the two treaties can work together to best address HFCs-replacements for foams, air conditioning units and fridges- as a contribution to meeting the climate change challenge.
"In a financially constrained world, facing a climate-constrained one, governments need to maximize the economic and social benefits of action across the many environmental challenges of our time," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.
"The ozone treaties and the climate convention are natural allies in the push to combat climate change and are thus natural allies in assisting the world to realize a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy-I welcome this closer collaboration and look forward to hearing at first hand how this can be taken forward for the benefit of the climate and the global environment as a whole," he added.
Notes to Editors
The Montreal Protocol focuses on the protection of the earth's ozone layer. This treaty, which is among the most ratified in the entire United Nations system, has enabled both developed and developing countries to achieve a near total phase-out in the production and use of ozone depleting substances.
Because most ozone depleting substances are also potent global warming gasses, the actions taken under the Montreal Protocol have contributed significantly to the global effort to address climate change.
The Kyoto Protocol, a treaty negotiated under the United Nations Climate Change Convention, is focused on the development and implementation of actions to protect the global climate system.
This Protocol is currently the focus of intensive negotiations among countries with a view toward strengthening significantly its provisions during a key meeting this December in Copenhagen.
HFCs, which have been used by many countries as alternatives to ozone depleting substances, have a high global warming impact and are among the basket of gasses controlled by the Kyoto Protocol. The dual nature of this class of chemicals and the success of the Montreal Protocol to date has led some countries to believe that the Montreal Protocol may be the best instrument to address these issues.
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