Canada and the world take a major step in fighting climate change

MONTRÉAL, Nov. 20, 2017 /CNW/ – Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. Canada is committed to working with other countries to promote clean growth solutions at home and around the world.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, celebrated a historic step in tackling climate change with the ratification of the Kigali Amendment.

The Kigali Amendment is a global agreement to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a type of greenhouse gas that warms the planet even more quickly than carbon dioxide. Implementing the Kigali Amendment could avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century.

The Kigali Amendment requires at least 20 countries to ratify it in order to enter into force, a milestone that was reached just ahead of the opening of the 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. The Amendment will now enter into force on January 1, 2019Canada ratified the Amendment earlier this month.

Kigali amends the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 environmental agreement that brought the world together to repair the hole in earth’s protective ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol is widely acknowledged as one of the most successful examples of the world working together to address global environmental challenges.

HFCs are used in products such as refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosols. Each year, global HFC emissions are equivalent to the emissions from nearly 300 coal-fired power plants. In the absence of the Kigali Amendment or other policies, global HFC emissions are projected  to grow nearly five-fold by 2050.

Today, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who played a key leadership role at the signing of the Protocol 30 years ago, addressed delegates at the opening of the meetings.


“We took a big step forward in tackling climate change today. Kigali will deliver new momentum to the world’s efforts to avoid dangerous global warming and accelerate clean growth. I’m very proud that Canada is among the leaders in ratifying this amendment, and I congratulate the other 20 countries whose hard work made this happen.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • Canada recently published new regulations that will reduce its annual consumption of HFCs by 85 percent by 2036. HFCs are frequently used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances and have significant global warming impacts.
  • Parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted the Kigali Amendment on reducing HFCs in October 2016. Actions taken under the Amendment will lessen the economic costs of climate change that result from rising sea levels, drought, and floods.
  • The Montreal Protocol is a successful international agreement that has eliminated over 99 percent of substances that were thinning the earth’s protective ozone layer. The Earth’s ozone layer acts like a shield, absorbing UV radiation from the sun, providing protection from harmful rays.
  • The Montreal Protocol is one of the prime contributors to the fight against climate change as it had, by 2010, averted more than 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

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Associated Links

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Natural Resources in Canada’s Facebook page

SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada

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