Since the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, countries have been phasing out most ozone-damaging chemicals, helping protect the Earth’s protective shield. In this exclusive Mongabay interview, Megumi Seki, Acting Executive Secretary of the UN Environment Programme’s Ozone Secretariat, reviews the history and future of the landmark treaty. The Montreal Protocol phase-down has also helped prevent further climate warming. But the HFCs — replacement gases employed by industry as refrigerants and for other uses — while not harmful to the ozone layer, have been found to be powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. In 2016, national delegates agreed on the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which calls for cutting the production and use of HFCs by 80–85% by the late 2040s. The amendment entered into force at the start of 2019, with the goal of avoiding additional warming by up to 0.4°C (0.72 °F) by the end of the century. The early steps of the Montreal Protocol, and its ongoing adjustments including the Kigali Amendment, provide vital clues as to how to effectively negotiate, implement, update, and succeed in moving forward with other future environmental treaties. In the early 1970s, scientists first discovered that chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), […]


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