Vienna Convention and Montreal protocol [UPSC]

Vienna Convention and Montreal protocol

Vienna Convention

  • It is a Multilateral Environmental Agreement.
  • It was agreed upon at the Vienna Conference of 1985 and entered into force in 1988.
  • In terms of universality, it is one of the most successful treaties of all time, as it had been ratified by 197 states as well as the European Union.
  • It acts as a framework for the international efforts to protect the ozone layer. But, it does not include legally binding reduction goals for the use of CFCs, the main chemical agents causing ozone depletion.
  • These are laid out in the accompanying Montreal Protocol.

Montreal protocol

  • It is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.
  • It was agreed in 1987, and entered into force in Helsinki (1989)
  • After that it had undergone 8 revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), 1998 (Australia), 1999 (Beijing) and 2016 (Kigali, adopted, but not in force).
  • Result of international agreement – the ozone hole in Antarctica is slowly recovering.
  • Climate projections indicate that the ozone layer will return to 1980 levels between 2050 and 2070.
  • Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation.

India and protection of Ozone layer

  • India become party of Vienna Convention in 1991 and of Montreal protocol in 1992.
  • It ratified the Copenhagen, Montreal and Beijing Amendments in 2003.
  • India produces CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-113, Halon-1211, HCFC-22, Halon-1301,
    Carbontetrachloride (CTC), methyl chloroform and methyl bromide
  • These ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) are used in refrigeration and air conditioning, fire fighting, electronics, foams, aerosol fumigation applications.
  • A detailed India Country Programme for phase out of ODS was prepared in 1993.
  • It ensured that phase out of ODS is according to national industrial development strategy + without undue burden on consumers and industries.
  • Access to Protocol’s Financial Mechanism is in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the Montreal Protocol.
  • An Ozone cell and a steering committee on the Montreal protocol was setup by MoEF to facilitate implementation of India Country Prog. for phasing out ODS production by 2010.
  • To meet its objectives govt. had exempted all non-ODS technology goods from Customs and Central Excise Duties.
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