MINSK, 16 September (BelTA) – Belarus is getting ready to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.
“Our country was one of the first to sign the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Belarus is currently preparing to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol that regulates the consumption of hydrofluorocarbons that greatly contribute to the global warming,” the ministry noted.
In 1997, Belarus introduced systems for regulation of import, export, and management of ozone-depleting substances in the country. That year, the country also set up the National Research Center for Ozone Layer Monitoring at Belarusian State University. The law on the protection of the ozone layer came into force in Belarus in 2001. As from 1 January 2020, the country has stopped importing ozone-depleting substances.
The Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry explained the need for these measures. “The ozone layer is located in the stratosphere, 10-40km above the surface of the Earth, and protects the planet from the Sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. Scientific research showed that some chemical substances are highly harmful to the ozone layer. When it was scientifically proven that the ozone layer is depleting, the international community decided to take measures to protect people's health and the environment from the negative consequences of this process,” the press service explained.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987. It lays down concrete measures to reduce the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. They include chlorine- and bromine-containing organic substances that are used as cooling agents for air conditioning, propellants in utilities and medical aerosols, fire extinguishing agents in fire extinguishing systems, solvents used in electronic and precision engineering, and foaming agents for the production of construction materials.
The Kigali Amendment was adopted at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol held in Kigali, Rwanda. The amendment regulates the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons that do not deplete the ozone layer, but are known to be powerful greenhouse gases.
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is marked annually on 16 September in commemoration of the date in 1987 when the Montreal Protocol was signed.