Protocol and the Kyoto Protocol mutually supportive say top UN Officials
Montreal, 17 September 2007 –
International efforts to safeguard Earth's climate and protect the ozone layer
are mutually supportive, say the United Nation's top climate change and
environment officials. Negotiations on the future direction of the Montreal
Protocol in protecting the ozone layer, which start in Montreal today, and the
UN Climate Change Conference set for Bali in December will shape further climate
action beyond 2012, when the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends.
"The Montreal Protocol is
successfully assisting in the repair and recovery of the ozone layer. The Kyoto
Protocol is tackling perhaps the greatest challenge of our generation –
climate change. However, what is also emerging in 2007, and emerging with ever
greater clarity, is that both treaties are mutually supportive across several
key fronts," said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations
The Kyoto Protocol's clean
development mechanism (CDM) has led to the destruction of large volumes of the
very potent greenhouse gas HFC-23, a by-product of the production of the coolant
HCFC-22, and is currently the only reliable mechanism available to prevent
emissions of this gas in the short term, according to a new report by the
Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) of the Montreal Protocol to be
released in Montreal this week.
"The Kyoto Protocol's CDM is
assisting to destroy HFCs. Meanwhile, governments here in Montreal look set to
back an accelerated freeze and phase-out of HCFCs, with important benefits for
the ozone layer and also for climate change," Mr. Steiner added.
"This kind of cooperation
underlines the importance of the UN and its related environmental agreements,
demonstrating in clear and concrete terms how, by combining their strengths,
they can more efficiently and cost effectively realize the sustainability goals
of our time," said Mr. Steiner.
Parties to the Kyoto Protocol
decided in Montreal in 2005 that the CDM should not lead to an increase in
HCFC-22, a gas regulated by the Montreal Protocol.
"The Parties to the Kyoto
Protocol have been guided by the dual objective of safeguarding the climate and
protecting the ozone layer when shaping climate action. This dual objective has
also guided the regulation applied to the generation of CDM carbon market
credits from the destruction of HFC-23 in older refrigerant factories. New
plants and expanded production
do not qualify under the CDM,"
said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change.
Parties to the Kyoto Protocol
will consider in Bali in December if and then how the CDM could also provide
incentives for the destruction of HFC-23 in new plants, without stimulating
production of the refrigerant HCFC-22, and will take the findings of the TEAP
report into account. "The worst of all cases would be for HFC-23 emissions
to go unmitigated," according to the TEAP report.
"Steps to accelerate the
phase-out of HCFCs under the Montreal Protocol would make a significant
contribution to the global effort to address climate change. The potential in
this area is very encouraging and, when combined with significant opportunities
to reduce emissions from other sectors, such as energy, buildings and
deforestation, demonstrates that solutions to the climate threat are available.
The Bali conference needs to put in motion a global campaign to capture all of
these opportunities and the Montreal Protocol can continue to make a
contribution, building on its past successes," said Mr. de Boer.
About the UNFCCC
With 191 Parties, the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal
membership. It is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which has to
date 175 member Parties. Under the Protocol, 36 States, consisting of highly
industrialized countries and countries undergoing transition to a market
economy, have legally binding greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limitation and
reduction commitments, while developing countries have non-binding obligations
to limit emissions. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize GHG
concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human
interference with the climate system.
About the CDM
There are currently more than 780
registered CDM projects in 48 countries, and about another 1320 projects in the
project registration pipeline. The CDM is expected to generate more than 2.2
billion certified emission reductions (tradable CERs) by the time the first
commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012, each equivalent to one
tonne of carbon dioxide.
The United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) has been the voice for the environment in the UN system since
1972. It is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator, promoting the wise
use of the planet's natural assets for sustainable development. It also plays a
key role in a broad range of activities and awareness campaigns related to
climate change, with many partners including national governments, youth
organizations, business, industry and the media. UNEP's capacity-building
activities related to CDM include regional awareness and information programmes
in Africa and Asia.