The latest report from the UN Environment’s Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion has found a healing ozone layer and identified new potential avenues for climate change mitigation.
The report confirms the long-term action being taken under the Montreal Protocol to reduce ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) have led to the ongoing recovery of stratospheric ozone.
Evidence presented by the report’s authors show that ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000. At projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060
“The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history for a reason,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment. “The careful mix of authoritative science and collaborative action that has defined the Protocol for more than 30 years and was set to heal our ozone layer is precisely why the Kigali Amendment holds such promise for climate action in future.”
The Kigali Amendment comes into action on 1 January 2019, and will further limit the future use of powerful climate-warming gasses found in refrigerators, air conditioners and related products.
“These new assessment results highlight the importance of continued long-term monitoring of HFCs in the atmosphere as the Kigali Amendment begins to take hold,” said David Fahey, Co-Chair of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel and scientist at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in the US.
Full compliance would reduce future global warming due to HFCs by about 50% between now and 2050 compared to a scenario without any HFC controls.