By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Wed, 09 Nov 2011 13:00:56 GMT

In observance of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry (IYC), a symposium will be organized November 7-10, 2011 to recognize the contributions of scientists, industry, policy makers and intergovernmental agencies to characterize and counteract the threat that industrially produced halocarbons posed to the Earth's protective stratospheric ozone layer. Addressing this threat greatly invigorated and expanded the field of atmospheric chemistry and, after early challenges, led to highly successful collaborations among academic, industrial and government scientists to understand stratospheric and tropospheric chemistry and dynamics, capture the knowledge in diagnostic and predictive models, and provide the policy relevant science that allowed the successful implementation of the 1987 Montreal Protocol and its amendments to ban ozone depletion substances. Such an integrated effort has resulted in the ozone layer's subsequent stabilization and initial recovery. The successful collaborations that allowed this troubling global change challenge to be scientifically characterized and successfully mitigated may offer useful lessons learned that might help address the larger, and even more recalcitrant, challenge of climate change.

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 00:31:42 GMT

Source: Radio New Zealand - The Government of New Zealand is considering changing its Emissions Trading Scheme to exclude two powerful greenhouse gases - nitrous oxide and a powerful by-product of refrigeration known as HFC-23. Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says the right to claim credits for destroying these gases might be removed if other countries follow through with plans to do the same.Dr Smith says these gases are so powerful a lot of Kyoto credits are generated by destroying them. This creates a perverse incentive to manufacture them in the first place, bringing into question the environmental gains from having them on the Kyoto list. A final decision to exclude them from the Emissions Trading Scheme will be made after consultation.

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Mon, 26 Sep 2011 22:46:07 GMT

Source hydrocarbons 21.com - The European Commission is now consulting stakeholders on the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of different options for additional reductions of fluorinated gas (f-gas) emissions in the EU, that will put the bloc in the right pathway towards achieving its long-term overall greenhouse gas emission targets. On this basis the European Commission is expected next year to present a legislative proposal for revising the EU's existing Regulation on fluorinated gases (F-Gas Regulation). “The EU Regulation on fluorinated gases has successfully broken a growing trend in emissions and driven technological innovation. However, making the transition to a competitive low-carbon EU economy by 2050 requires ambitious action to cut emissions from all sectors”, said Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action. “It is clear there is considerable scope for cost-effective reductions in F-gas emissions and following the public consultation I intend to propose new legislative measures next year." The public consultation will gather views and data on the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of different options for achieving additional reductions of f-gases in the EU.

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Wed, 21 Sep 2011 21:41:55 GMT

The EU’s climate change policy should include a new regulation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases other than CO 2, argue members of the European Parliament in a resolution adopted in plenary, on 14 September. “The global warming potential of gases other than CO 2 is higher than that of carbon dioxide. It is very important to reduce these gases because they will account for 20% of total global emissions by 2050,” observed Theodoros Skylakakis (ALDE, Greece), co-author of the resolution.

The text points out that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions responsible for climate change are only partially covered by the Kyoto Protocol, which concerns only carbon dioxide (CO 2), methane (CH 4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF 6), while other halocarbons with strong warming potential are covered by the Montreal Protocol (protection of the ozone layer). It highlights the important impact on global warming of other polluting gases. 

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:36:55 GMT

Source Bloomberg - The United Nation’s carbon market will survive if the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas-reduction goals for developed nations expire in 2012 without being immediately renewed, the European Union climate chief said. The EU, which gives companies in its emissions trading system the right to import credits from the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, will probably remain that market’s driving force in coming years, said the bloc’s Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard. The European cap-and-trade system, the world’s largest, was valued at $119.8 billion last year, according to World Bank estimates. “The CDM will continue more or less as it is now,” Hedegaard said in an interview during a visit to New York. “We should still try to avoid the gap, but as Europe is the main player in the game, as we have legislation, targets, rules on offsetting, I cannot see why we wouldn’t continue to work with CDM projects.” The 27-nation EU has a target for a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas discharges by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, and it wants to limit them by as much as 95 percent by 2050. The bloc’s emissions trading program, known as ETS, is a cornerstone of its climate initiative, putting limits on more than 11,000 utilities and manufacturing companies and leading to a cap in 2020 that would be 21 percent below 2005 discharges.

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Wed, 13 Jul 2011 17:32:08 GMT

In the glittering ceremony with the background Seychelleoise music, three creative journalists from Africa were awarded for their work media talents in the field of Ozone Layer Protection and Climate Change.

The newspaper article, “Ban on old fridges starts biting as NEMA swoops in”, written by Mr. Gerald Tenywa from Uganda, won the first place. “Come 2010, time for ODS to go”, was the title of the article written by Mr. Busani Bafna, a well known environmental journalist from Zimbabwe, won the second place.  Mr. Bafana who has written a number of stories on natural protection is planning to embark on writing a book on “African stories on the Montreal Protocol”. Mr. Frazer Potani from Malawi won the third place for his article, “When Climate Change is witchcraft” which tells the story that links the African tradition of witchcraft to climate change and provides the strong message of how human beings are responsible for the damaging changes. Each of the journalists –who are also part of the African Network of the Environmental Journalists, informed the audience that the awards are very encouraging to them for focusing more on the African environmental issues. “Africa is the least contributor to the global environmental problems but we suffer the most and will in future face the bigger disasters due to our inadequate capacity to manage climate change”, Mr. Bafana said.  He sent a strong message to the world to take urgent steps to reverse climate change.

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Fri, 08 Jul 2011 18:47:07 GMT

MEPs have postponed a vote on whether or not Europe should toughen its climate targets and move to a 30 per cent emissions reduction target by 2020. The commission has set a target of cutting CO2 emissions by 20 per cent compared to 1990 levels by the end of this decade but many MEPs have been pressing for this to be increased to 30 per cent. Some MEPs had warned that failure to vote for a 30 per cent emissions reduction would undermine the EU's reputation as a leading voice in the fight against global warming. Supporters of the move to raise ambitions from the current 20 per cent reduction target argue that it will guide investment decisions crucial to the development of low carbon energy production and the growth of the green economy. Climate talks in Europe will continue in the coming months. On 11 July, environment ministers meet in Poland to discuss a European commission assessment on sharing the costs and benefits of increased climate action.

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Mon, 20 Jun 2011 17:31:49 GMT

(Bonn, 17 June 2011)-  Speaking on the final day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, the UNs climate change chief said that the negotiations had made clear advances on key issues and were also identifying areas that will require high-level political leadership ahead of the annual conference in Durban.

 The Central political question that has crystallized during this session is how further emission reduction commitments by developed countries can be taken forward in the broader context of the emerging climate change regime,î said United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.  Referring to the link between negotiations on mitigation under the UN Climate Change Convention and mitigation under the Kyoto Protocol, she said: Governments are realising that this link needs to be dealt with to get to a global solution and that will require high-level leadership during the year. Read More...

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Mon, 06 Jun 2011 16:07:59 GMT

Negotiators from about 180 nations are meeting today in at the Hotel Maritim, Bonn, Germany, from June 6-17 to discuss measures to slow global warming. Speaking on the first day of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said governments have an unavoidable responsibility to make clear progress towards the 2011 climate objectives which they had agreed in Cancun. No nation will solve climate change alone. And no nation is alone in feeling its impacts. We're only a few days away now from the mid-year climate negotiations and governments need to pick up speed . She insisted there were reasons to be optimistic. "Countries, including the biggest economies, are moving forward with new policies that promote low-carbon prosperous growth, even if they don't always attach climate labels to these policies. And the private sector continues to increase its investment in low-carbon business and renewable energy and wants to do more."

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Fri, 03 Jun 2011 12:48:50 GMT

Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency. The shock rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius – which scientists say is the threshold for potentially 'dangerous climate change' – is likely to be just 'a nice Utopia', according to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA. It also shows the most serious global recession for 80 years has had only a minimal effect on emissions, contrary to some predictions. Last year, a record 30.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide poured into the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuel – a rise of 1.6Gt on 2009, according to estimates from the IEA regarded as the gold standard for emissions data. 'I am very worried. This is the worst news on emissions,' Birol told the Guardian. 'It is becoming extremely challenging to remain below 2 degrees. The prospect is getting bleaker. That is what the numbers say.'

The UNs top climate official said the figures underscored the urgency for political action. "The IEA estimates ... are a stark warming to governments to provide strong new progress this year towards global solutions to climate change," said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

UN climate talks, resuming in Bonn next Monday, remain deadlocked on how to achieve the 2.0 C (3.6 F) target. Even the Kyoto Protocol, whose first round of emissions-cutting pledges for rich nations expires at the end of 2012, may be in jeopardy as key nations say they do not favour renewal. "The figures mean that the world is very far from achieving the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more that two degrees Celsius," EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement, calling on other nations to set binding targets and emissions trading schemes as has the European Union.

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Fri, 29 Apr 2011 19:42:00 GMT

"Impact of Polar Ozone Depletion on Subtropical Precipitation" demonstrates that the ozone hole is able to increase the amount of rainfall as far away as the subtropical region of southern hemisphere. For the first time, ozone depletion is clearly linked to climate change from the Pole of the equator.

It is now widely recognized to be one of the main causes of atmospheric circulation changes in the Southern Hemisphere in the last half century. Thus, international agreements about climate mitigation should not only consider carbon but also ozone. "This could be a real game- changer " noted Lorenzo M. Polvani, Professor of Applied Mathematics and of Earth and Environment Sciences, co-author of the paper.

As Polvani said, "Wile the ozone hole has been considered as a solved problem, we are now finding it has caused a great deal of the climate change that has been observed ". So even though CFCs are no longer being added to the atmosphere, and the ozone layer will recover in the coming decades, the closing ozone hole will have a considerable impact on climate change.

By OzonAction UNEP-DTIE on Wed, 01 Dec 2010 23:20:17 GMT

Who wants to know how Sri Lanka’s Dilmah Tea can offer the world ozone-friendly Ceylon Tea?

In 2007, Dilmah’s Tea decided to give 10% of its global profits for projects that include marine and terrestrial habitat and species conservation with an emphasis on the north and east of Sri Lanka, helping indigenous communities sustainable, ecosystem restoration, promoting sustainable agriculture, protection of biodiversity and environmental education.

Sri Lanka has implemented various measures to comply with environmental-related international conventions and agreements, including the Montreal Protocol. The usage of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant in the tea sector was halted to comply with the Montreal Protocol. This measure was introduced to all Dilmah owned and affiliated plantations with facilitation and subsequent monitoring by the Sri Lanka Tea Research Institute (TRI). Dilmah tea gardens now use Basamid-Granular for soil fumigation.

Now, you have the answer: by phasing out Methyl Bromide used in fumigating the soil in its teal plantations, Sri Lanka now offers the world ozone-friendly Ceylon Tea.