In a historic agreement in the fight against global warming, delegates of about 200 countries signed a treaty to phase out production and use of HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons), a major substance responsible for depletion of Ozone.
In order to mark the 20th anniversary of Montreal Protocol, a UN conference was held in Montreal on Friday.
According to the treaty, developed nations have agreed to phase out the harmful substances by 2020, and developed nations by 2030, 10 years ahead of the earlier agreement.
Commonly used in air conditioners, hair sprays and home appliances HCFCs, have also been linked to cause cancer and cataract among humans. A potent green house gas, it is 10,000 times more harmful than the CO2.
A step by step plan; a downfall in production and consumption of chemicals hazardous to the Ozone will be visible by 10% till the year 2010, 90% by 2015 and a final phase out in 2020, by the developed nations.
The developing nations on the other hand have committed to bring down production and consumption by 10% till the year 2015, 35% less by 2020, 67.5% by 2025 and a final phasing out will be possible by 2030.
Canadian Minister for environment John Baird calls the decision of bringing the deadlines forward by 10 years as a ‘pivotal moment’.
The White House applauded the agreement, calling it a significant new global action and further saying that it could be twice as effective as Kyoto Protocol.
The UNEP (United Nations Environment Plan) is hopeful to see the response, especially from countries like US, India and China, calling it a remarkable change in how we view the issue of climate change.
In the year 1987, the Montreal Protocol was established and was signed by 191 member countries so that the depleting condition of Ozone could be protected. Two decades later, the countries have met again to bring the production and use of HCFCs to a complete stop.