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Monday, October 1, 2012

Bhutan observes 25 years of montreal protocol

Since the signing of Montreal Protocol the world has phased out 98% of the ozone depleting substances

Along with nations around the world last week Bhutan celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the most successful treaty among nations on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer.
Celebrating the silver Jubilee, Her Majesty Gyaltsuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck expressed gratitude to world leaders, governments, and extraordinary people who have contributed greatly toward the common goal of overturning the depletion of the ozone layer.
Her Majesty expressed appreciation for the people of Bhutan for playing an equally important role.
“I would like to thank many people, our people, and individuals across the country. They are teachers, civil servants, experts, entrepreneurs and young students. Their concern, their passion and genuine commitment and contribution are invaluable,” said Her Majesty.
Her Majesty said there is still much to be done.
“What we would like to see is our ozone work has multiple benefits to the environment, such as combating climate change through the practical and simple way of being energy efficient,” Her Majesty said.
Also considered the most successful treaty in the UN history for achieving universal ratification and meeting its targets ahead of schedule, the Montreal Protocol was signed and ratified by 197 countries in 1987.
Since then the Protocol has enabled the reductions of over 98 % of all global production and consumption of controlled ozone depleting substances. It has also been successful in the global phase-out of Chloro-Fluoro-Carbon (CFCs) by 2010.
Bhutan saw the complete phase-out of Chloro-Fluoro-Carbon in 2010, the deadline prescribed by the Montreal Protocol. It has also committed a complete phase-out of Hydro-Chlorofluoro-Carbons (HCFCs) by 2020, ten years before the 2030 deadline.
The senior regional coordinator of UNEP Ozone Action, Atul Bagai, said, “Among all the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, Bhutan is truly a shining example because the country has committed to take an extra mile and accelerate the phase-out of Ozone damaging HCFCs in support of the government’s policy of maintaining its carbon negative status”.
The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in a message on the International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer, said the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer is not merely a success in meeting its immediate objectives, it offers substantive lessons and inspiration in addressing other global challenges and turning them into opportunities for common progress.
“With the global phase-out of 98% of ozone-depleting gases in consumer, industrial and agricultural products, the ozone layer is now on track to recover over the next five decades,” he said. He added governments must maintain their commitment to finish the job and avert additional problems.
The Montreal Protocol is said to have saved the global community from millions of cases of skin cancer and cataract, in addition to trillions of dollars in health care.
Globally, the Protocol is estimated to have prevented 19 million more cases of non-melanoma cancer, 1.5mn more cases of melanoma cancer and 130mn more cases of eye cataracts. And without the Protocol, it is estimated that by the year 2050 ozone depletion would have risen to at least 50% in the northern hemisphere’s mid-latitudes and 70% in the southern mid-latitudes, about 10 times worse than current levels

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