Step up climate action by learning from ozone layer protection: UN chief

United Nations, Sep 17 (IANS): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked the world to step up climate action by learning from the success story of protecting the ozone layer.

The Montreal Protocol began life as a mechanism to protect and heal the ozone layer. It has done its job well over the past three decades. The ozone layer is on the road to recovery, Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

"The cooperation we have seen under the Montreal Protocol is exactly what is needed now to take on climate change, an equally existential threat to our societies."

The Montreal Protocol is more than just an example of how multilateralism can and should work, it is an active tool to help meet the global vision for sustainable development, he said in a message for the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, which falls on September 16.

Under the Kigali Amendment to the protocol, nations have committed to phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful greenhouse gases used as coolants.

When fully implemented, the Kigali Amendment could prevent 0.4 degrees Celsius of global warming this century, he said.

Furthermore, the Kigali Amendment can also help increase food security.

By reducing HFCs, increasing energy efficiency and creating more ozone- and climate-friendly technologies, the Kigali Amendment can bring sustainable access to vital cooling services to millions of people.

Such services would reduce food loss in developing countries, where food often spoils before it can reach markets.

Getting produce from farmers to consumers would help reduce hunger, poverty and the environmental impact of the agricultural sector, he said.

Another important benefit of expanding cooling is the storage of medicines and vaccines, such as COVID-19 vaccines, he added.

"The Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment show us that by acting together, anything is possible. So let us act now to slow climate change, feed the world's hungry and protect the planet that we all depend on," said Guterres.



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