Two Indians honoured with Ozone Award
General Studies-III – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Two Indians — ex-Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave and the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) deputy director Chandra Bhushan — were honoured with Ozone Awards by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol in Canada on 23 November 2017. Dave was posthumously awarded in the ‘Political Leadership’ category while Bhushan was awarded in ‘Partnership’ (providing policy and research support) category for their roles in getting the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol adopted in October last year.
- The Kigali amendment seeks to phase down climate-warming refrigerants hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). It will enter into force on January 1, 2019.
- Developed countries will start reducing HFCs as early as 2019 while developing countries will start later. Phasing down HFCs under the Protocol is expected to avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming by the end of the century while continuing to protect the ozone layer.
- Though the Montreal Protocol was earlier meant for phasing down only ozone-depleting substances, the Kigali amendment – adopted by over 190 countries including India – empowered it to deal with the HFCs which aren’t ozone-depleting chemicals but are clubbed in the category of climate-damaging substances.
- Every 10 years, the Ozone Secretariat of the UNEP gives awards to individuals and organisations that have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and contribution to the progress and achievements of the Montreal Protocol.
- The ‘Political Leadership’ category award is given to key political-level individuals (ministers and other senior political leaders) and organisations that contributed most to bridging gaps, building consensus, and providing inspiration and political guidance over the last several years of discussions and negotiations to reach an agreement.
- The ‘Partnership’ category award recognises the work of civil society and other international organisations that have played a critical role in the development of the Kigali Amendment and/or implementation of the Montreal Protocol.