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Press Information Bureau Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests

12-September-2012 16:33 IST

25th Anniversary of Montreal Protocol and 18th International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer Protecting Our Atmosphere for Generations to come Backgrounder The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was signed on 22 March, 1985 and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on 16 September, 1987 to protect the ozone layer. Since 1995, this day is celebrated every year as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer and commemorates the date of signing of the Montreal Protocol. This year being the 25th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, it has been decided to celebrate the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on 13th September, 2012. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has been recognized as the most successful international environment treaty in history. Another testimony to its remarkable accomplishments, the Montreal Protocol has received universal ratification; all countries in the world have now ratified this landmark agreement. This brings together the whole international community to protect the ozone layer. The Protocol was the culmination of decades of research, which established that chemicals containing chlorine and bromine released in the atmosphere could damage the ozone layer. A depleted ozone layer in the stratosphere allows the Ultraviolet (UV-B) rays of the sun to reach the earth exposing mankind, flora and fauna to its harmful effects. According to the World Health Organization, each year between 12 to 15 million people become blind from cataracts worldwide, of which upto 20% may be caused or enhanced by sun exposure. Initially on the basis of very definite empirical findings, the Protocol enjoined upon all the signatory nations to completely phase out the major Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Halons and Carbon-tetrachloride (CTC) in a given time schedule. Later, other studies have brought more ODSs such as Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and MethylBromide under the ambit of the Protocol for phasing out within the given deadlines. The Montreal Protocol which is in operation for twenty five years had an extraordinary international cooperation and has led to complete phase-out of production and consumption of several ODSs. As of 1st January, 2010, the production and consumption of major ODSs like CFCs, CTC and halons have already been phased out globally. This has not only protected the stratospheric ozone but it has also immensely benefitted the climate system. The ODSs are potent Green House Gases (GHGs) and these gases were not included in Kyoto basket of gases for emission controls. As per expert estimates, from 1st January, 2010 GHG emissions have been reduced by 11 Giga tonnes CO2 equivalent per year through its ODS phase-out activities which amounts to 5-6 times reduction targets by the Kyoto


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Protocol during first commitment period of 2008-2012. India, being a Party to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, have been sharing the global concern for protecting the ozone layer and phasing out of the ODSs. These substances are used in industrial and pharmaceutical aerosols, refrigeration and air-conditioning equipments, foam manufacturing, fire extinguishing equipment, metal-cleaning, garment cleaning, soil fumigation and quarantine and preshipment applications etc. Since 1993 with the continued efforts made by stakeholders responsible for implementation of the Montreal Protocol activities, India has successfully phased-out the production and consumption of CFCs, CTC and halons as of 1st January, 2010 except the use of pharmaceutical grade CFCs in manufacturing of Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs) for treatment of Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other respiratory ailments under the Essential Use Nomination (EUN) provisions of the Montreal Protocol. India proactively ceased the production and consumption of CFCs from 1st August, 2008, 17 months ahead of schedule of the Montreal Protocol. However, adequate steps were taken to ensure the supply of pharmaceutical grade CFCs for the critical sector especially for manufacturing of MDIs for Asthma and COPD patients in our country through EUN provisions of the Protocol especially during the transition period. India got it approved of 343.6 MT of pharmaceutical grade CFCs for 2010 for manufacturing of MDIs in the country. The Indian MDI manufacturers have made an excellent progress in developing CFC-free formulations for most of the MDIs and now only CFC-free MDIs are supplied in the domestic market. As a result, India in consultation with MDI manufacturers decided not to seek EUN of pharmaceutical grade CFCs for 2011 and beyond. Recognizing the success of the Montreal Protocol in phasing out the ODSs like CTC, CFC and halons, the 19th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) held in September, 2007 had taken a decision to advance the phase-out of HCFCs by 10 years. The baseline for production and consumption of HCFCs has been established based on the average of production and consumption for the years 2009 and 2010 respectively. The freeze will be in 2013 on the baseline level and 10% reduction from the baseline in 2015 for stageI reduction as per the accelerated phase-out schedule. The HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) was prepared in close cooperation with the industry, concerned industry associations, research institutions, institutional user organizations, NGOs etc. The Sectoral Working Groups Meeting was organized in September 2009. A Roadmap to Phase-out HCFCs in India was launched in October, 2009. Subsequently, a two-day Stakeholders Workshop on HCFCs was also organized in October, 2011 for finalization of sectroal strategy and overarching HPMP Stage-I. The HPMP Stage-I has been approved by the Executive Committee (Ex-Com) of the Multilateral Fund (MLF) for Implementation of the Montreal Protocol in its 66th Meeting for the period 2012-2015 to meet the 2013 and 2015 phase-out targets by reducing 341.77 ODP tonnes of HCFCs from the starting point of 1691.25 ODP tonnes. The Government of India has also taken a number of policy measures, both fiscal and regulatory, to encourage early adoption of new technologies by existing and new enterprises. The Customs and Excise 2/3


duty exemption is granted on capital goods required to implement ODS phase out projects funded by the MLF and these physical incentives are also extended for new industrial establishments and expansion of existing capacities using non-ODS technologies. The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 regulating ODS production, consumption and trade have also been put in place. These Rules are being enforced under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 with effect from 19th July, 2000. These Rules have been, further, amended from time to time to facilitate execution of national phase-out plans so as to meet the reduction targets as specified in the Protocol. MC/sk