India to ratify Kigali Amendment to Montreal Protocol.

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News: Recently the Central Government approved India’s ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to gradually phase out the harmful Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by the year 2047. Read The news Here.

What is Ratification?

Before jumping to the main topic about ozone depletion, the Montreal protocol, and the Kigali amendment. Let’s understand what is meant by ratification. You must have heard phrases like “India has signed an international treaty but has not ratified yet” etc. Here we need to understand that before any treaty comes into force, it has to pass through various processes. The first is Negotiation, later comes the Signing of the treaty by the nations and the last step is Ratification. Here ratification means, making a law within the country which is done by the Parliament and the executive in the case of India, for the treaty to come into force.

Let’s understand in simple language:

The Ozone layer is found in the middle of the Troposphere and Stratosphere. The Ozone (O3) is itself harmful if found in the troposphere and if inhaled. It is called Urban smog and can damage the lungs. However, Ozone, when present in the upper troposphere, forms a layer that protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. But in 1985 it was found that the ozone layer is experiencing a thinning pattern which was popularly called the ozone hole.

This hole was due to the excessive presence of carbon dioxide, chlorine, hydrocarbons, etc in the upper troposphere and stratosphere. These gases/substances were called ozone-depleting substances and were majorly found in air-conditioners and refrigerants. Thus in 1989, the Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer from harmful climate-damaging substances like the ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFCs). A point to remember here is, the Montreal Protocol is legally binding, unlike the Paris Agreement. India became a party to the Montreal Protocol In 1992 and since then has ratified the amendments to the Montreal Protocol.

This Montreal Protocol led to the replacement of ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFCs) by Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which do not destroy the Ozone layer. All the parties to the convention were happy and satisfied with the success of the Montreal Protocol. However, it was later found that though HFCs do not harm the ozone layer, they are extremely potent in causing global warming. So, the HFCs solved one problem but were contributing in a major way to another.

But, these HFCs could not be phased out under the existing Montreal Protocol which was crafted only to phase out the CFCs. So, in order to target the HFCs and phase them out gradually, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol was introduced in 2016. And under the leadership of the USA, 197 member countries adopted an amendment to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda.

The world’s largest producers and consumers of HFCs, the United States Of America, and China have also ratified the Kigali Amendment. Till the end of July 2021, a total of 122 countries had ratified the amendment. The United States, China, and India are in separate groups of countries, with different time schedules to phase out their HFCs and replace them with climate-friendly alternatives.

India has to reduce its HFC use by 80% by the year 2047, while China and the United States have to achieve the same target by the years 2045 and 2034 respectively. Under the commitments of the Montreal Protocol, India will begin phasing out the Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by the year 2028 with a cumulative reduction of 10% in 2032, 20% in 2037, 30% in 2042, and 80% in 2047, taking 2024-26 as the base year.

Different countries have different phase-out plans under the protocol. It reiterates the Common But Differentiated Responsibility. The countries are grouped together based on their level of development, production, and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). USA, Canada, West European Nations along with Japan will reduce the HFCs first, followed by China and then by the developing countries like India, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan. The coming together of all countries to fight climate change and phase out HFCs is of most significance. Because the collective effort is expected to prevent the emission of up to 105 million co2 equivalents of greenhouse gases which will help avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of the global temperature to rise by the year 2100.

What is Montreal Protocol:

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the substances that deplete the ozone layer. It came into force in 1989 after it was made pursuant to the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer. India became a party to the Vienna Convention in 1991 and the Montreal Protocol in 1992. As a result of the international treaty, the ozone hole in Antarctica is slowly recovering, and the climate projections indicate that the ozone layer will return to 1980 levels between 2050 and 2070.

What is the Kigali agreement:

As discussed above the Kigali Agreement/ Amendment is an amendment to the already existing Montreal Protocol in order to phase out Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which though not an ozone-depleting substance but has a higher global warming potential. The Montreal Protocol came in force to phase out ozone-depleting substances like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons( HCFCs). These are gradually being phased out and were replaced by HFCs. Though HFCs solved one problem of ozone depletion, it created another one of global warming. The Kigali Agreement was signed in 2016 and is ratified by a majority of the member countries in 2021 along with India.

India and Ozone Protection

India became a party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in June 1992 and since then has ratified the amendments to the Montreal Protocol. India has successfully met the phase-out targets of all the Ozone Depleting Substances as per the Montreal Protocol Schedule.

Recently, India has successfully achieved the complete phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b, which is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises and one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemicals after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Moreover, India is one of the first countries in the world to launch a cooling action plan in 2019. The plan is aimed at reducing cooling demand, enabling refrigerant transition, enhancing energy efficiency, and better technology options with a 20-year time horizon.

The ratification of the Kigali amendment would boost domestic manufacturing and employment generation. The ratification also shows that India is ready to compete in the market for low-Global Warming Potential GWP (climate-friendly) refrigerants, and coolers.

India has consciously chosen a path for environment-friendly and energy-efficient technologies while phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs). Importantly, India is one among the few countries globally and a pioneer in some cases in the use of technologies, which are non-Ozone Depleting and have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Questions related to the Topic:

 Which of the following is not the consequence of ozone layer depletion?

A.   Increased ultraviolet rays

B.  Malignant melanoma-Another form of skin cancer

C.  Cyanobacteria are sensitive to UV radiation and would be affected by its increase.

D.   Tides

Ans: D

Which products contain ozone-depleting substances?

1 Motorbike

2 Car with AC

3 Spray

4 Oven

5 Refrigerator

6 Pesticides

7 Fire extinguisher

Options are

A.  1,2,3,4,5,6

B.  2,3,4,6,7

C.  2,4,5,6,7

D.  2,3,4,5,6,7

Ans:  C

In which sphere Ozone layer depletion is found?

A.  Ionosphere

B.  Stratosphere

C.  Lithosphere

D.  None of these

Ans: B

The depletion in the Ozone layer is caused by:

A.  Carbon dioxide

B.  Nitrous oxide

C.  Methane

D.  Chlorofluorocarbon

Ans:  D

 Which of the following is a prime health risk associated with greater UV radiation through the atmosphere due to the depletion of the ozone layer?  

A.  Damage to the digestive system

B.  Increased risk of liver cancer

C.  Increased risk of skin cancer

D.  Neurological disorder

Ans: C

Montreal protocol is related to the:

A.  Global warming

B.  Ozone layer depletion

C.   Sustainable development

D.  Food security

Ans: B

An ozone-depleting substance is mainly used in:

I. Burning fossil fuels

II. Chimneys

III. All human activities

IV. Cooling and refrigeration applications, and in the manufacture of foam products.


A.  Only I, II

B.  Only I, II, III

C.  All

D.  Only IV

Ans: D

Based on what the Kyoto Protocol set emission reduction targets for the group of greenhouse gases?
a) Hydrogen equivalents
b) Carbon dioxide equivalents
c) Oxygen equivalents
d) Nitrogen equivalents

Answer: b

When did the Montreal Protocol enter into force?
a) 1984
b) 1986
c) 1989
d) 1994

Answer: c

What are the substances present in the ozone layer depleting substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol?
a) Either chlorine or bromine
b) Either carbon or nitrogen
c) Either chlorine or carbon
d) Either carbon or bromine

Answer: d

Why hydrofluorocarbons are no harm to the ozone layer?
a) Because they contain chlorine
b) Because they do not contain chlorine
c) Because they contain carbon
d) Because they contain nitrogen

Answer: b

Which Amendment was agreed to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol?
a) Paris Amendment
b) New York Amendment
c) Delhi Amendment
d) Kigali Amendment

Answer: d

Which one of the following is the objective of the Kyoto Protocol?
a) Stabilization and reconstruction of greenhouse gases
b) Protecting the ozone layer from depletion
c) Reducing the CFCs and HFCs usage
d) Increasing the greenhouse gases

Answer: a

Which of the following is/are true regarding the Kigali Agreement?

1) Montreal protocol has emission targets for all nations,
unlike the Kyoto protocol which has for developed nations only.
2) The freeze year is the time from when the use of the harmful chemical must begin to go below the average amounts used in the baseline period.

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: Both 1 and 2

 Which of the following is/are true regarding the Kigali Agreement?

1) Kigali Agreement is legally binding like the Paris Agreement.
2) All countries are divided into 3 groups with different timelines to phase out emissions with India in the third group.

a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2

ANSWER: Only 2

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