Iran marks Intl. Day for the Preservation of...
The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet. The scientific confirmation of the depletion of the ozone layer prompted the international community to establish a mechanism for cooperation to take action to protect the ozone layer. This was formalized in the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which was adopted and signed by 28 countries, on 22 March 1985. In September 1987, this led to the drafting of The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
On 16th September 2009, the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol became the first treaties in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification. The principal aim of the Montreal Protocol is to protect the ozone layer by taking measures to control total global production and consumption of substances that deplete it, with the ultimate objective of their elimination on the basis of developments in scientific knowledge and technological information.
On this day, activities are organized by different community groups, individuals, schools and local organizations across the world. They include: the promotion of ozone-friendly products; special programs and events on saving the ozone layer; the distribution of the UNEP's public awareness posters to be used for events centered on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer; and the distribution of awards to those who worked hard to protect the Earth's ozone layer. Iran marked the United Nations’ International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on Sunday, 17 Sep.
As of 1990, Iran has archived its phase-out targets for a number of ozone depleting substances, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Gary Lewis said, adding, “Since 2012 the UN has partnered with the Islamic Republic of Iran on the HCFC Phase-out Management Plan or what we call as HPMP.”
The project’s main target is to phase-down and ultimately phase-out the use of HCFCs in Iran to comply with the Montreal Protocol’s controlling targets through a harmonized national strategy. Iran does not produce any HCFCs. However, Iran does import HCFCs for various industrial uses and as a Party to the Montreal Protocol, Iran must incrementally decrease HCFC consumption culminating in a complete HCFC phase-out in 2030.
Lewis went on to say that under HCFC Phase-out Management Plan Iran has succeeded in achieving two targets of freezing at baseline consumption level (380.5 tons of ozone depleting potentials) by 2013 and 10% reduction of the baseline (342.5 tons of ozone depleting potentials) by 2015. “This success have been the result of collaboration of Iran’s national ozone units and the work of UN agencies such as UNDP, UN environment, and UNIDO and the support of German government,” he added. “And this is why I say Iran is the regional and global best practice and can serve as a hub to support similar efforts in the region.”
“We need to build on the success of the first projects and continue it into the future; more works is required at the international level to which Iran should contribute,” he highlighted.
Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral environmental agreement that fulfilled its purpose, the UN official to Iran said, stating, “The protocol has been responsible for phasing out nearly one hundred percent of ozone depleting substances and as a result the ozone is starting to thicken again and be able to protect us more from debilitating rays.”
“And our new focus need to be on what we call hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) and in this respect the parties to the Montreal protocol reached an agreement in October of last year in Kigali, Rwanda, to phase out these hydroflourocarbons,” he said.
In Kigali, delegates worked to negotiate and reach a deal on a timetable that would mandate countries to phase down the production and usage of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs).
Following seven years of continuous consultations, Parties to the Montreal Protocol struck a landmark legally binding deal to reduce the emissions of powerful greenhouse gases in a move that could prevent up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of this century, while continuing to protect the ozone layer.
HFCs are man-made chemicals that are primarily used in air conditioning, refrigeration and foam insulation, and are powerful greenhouse gases that can be thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change.
“I call on the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take the important step to discuss and approve the Kigali amendment,” Lewis noted. He further said that “It is our hope that we can continue to contribute to Iran’s effort to achieve its sustainable development goals especially on energy efficiency and climate change; Iran has joined other nations in the world who are focused on finding solutions to environmental challenges and move toward a brighter sunlit future.”
Iran’s environment chief Issa Kalantari, for his part, noted that Iran has always been committed to international treaties and agreements. “I hope that one day we all be committed to a national agreement to resolve environmental issues such as water shortage, soil pollution, waste management and wildlife conservation,” Kalantari said.
Quoted and edited: negar paidar