24 Asia-Pacific countries reach Goal ZERO - 100% phase out of CFCs and other ozone-damaging chemicals
Pokhara, 18 October 2011 – Twenty-four Asia-Pacific countries were recognized and conferred the Montreal Protocol Recognition Award yesterday evening for compliance to the ozone-depleting substances (ODS) phase-out targets for 1 January 2010 set under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The award was presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat and OzonAction Programme during the Reception Ceremony of the three-day Joint Network Meeting of South Asia and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ozone Officers from October 17 to 19.
“The countries deserve acknowledgment for fulfilling their commitments to completely phase out their production and consumption of CFCs, carbon tetrachloride and halons by 1 January 2010. The compliance of all Asia-Pacific countries has played a significant role in the success of the Montreal Protocol as the best example for multilateral cooperation to protect the environment,” said Ms. Megumi Seki, Senior Scientific Affairs Officer, UNEP Ozone Secretariat.
“We congratulate the Asia-Pacific countries for this achievement because compliance is not an easy task for governments. To attain this, governments have to synchronize their policies and legislations on ODS with programs to assist affected sectors to ensure the smooth transition to alternative chemicals and technologies,” stated Mr. Atul Bagai, Senior Regional Coordinator, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
The Asia-Pacific region is very important to the international community of ozone protectors because it is home to the largest producers and consumers of ODS. China and India were the largest producers of CFCs until 2007 and 2008, respectively, and now largest producers of HCFCs globally.
“CFCs and HCFCs are not just ODS but are also powerful greenhouse gases. Research has shown that because of the Montreal Protocol, the world had avoided 11 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent per year of greenhouse gas emissions,” claimed Dr. Sita Ram Joshi, Director-General of the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology.
Following the Joint Network Meeting is a two-day workshop on HCFC Phaseout and its climate and energy use linkages from 20 to 21 October, in Kathmandu organized by UNEP in cooperation with the Nepal’s Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM) and India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
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Notes to Editors
Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987 and entered into force on January 1, 1989. Since then, it has undergone five revisions, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international cooperation "Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date...”
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.
Ozone Secretariat is the Secretariat for the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Based at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) offices in Nairobi (Kenya), the Secretariat functions in accordance with Article 7 of the Vienna Convention and Article 12 of the Montreal Protocol.
UNEP DTIE OzonAction Branch assists developing countries and countries with economies in transition (CEITs) to enable them to achieve and sustain compliance with the Montreal Protocol. With our programme's assistance, countries are able to make informed decisions about alternative technologies and ozone-friendly policies. The Branch has the distinction of implementing more than 1,000 projects and services that benefit of more than 100 developing countries and 17 CEITs, plus other services that assist another 40 developing countries.