Presidential Statement on the occasion of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer...
Today, on the 26th annual International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer, Micronesia hails the accomplishments of the Montreal Protocol in protecting the ozone layer and climate system.
In light of the recent declaration of leaders of the G-20 nations, there now appears to be overwhelming support for using the Montreal Protocol to deliver substantial additional benefits for the global climate by reducing powerful greenhouse gases called HFCs.
For Micronesians, this news should inspire renewed optimism and also considerable pride. Micronesia was the first country to propose phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol in 2009.
Our proposal was ground-breaking at the time but rooted in basic common sense. The Montreal Protocol has decades of experience and expertise in phasing out manmade greenhouse gases, including CFCs and HCFCs, the predecessors of HFCs. It is the world’s most successful environmental treaty, due in large part to a governance system that treats developing countries fairly, providing them the resources and the time to undertake the measures necessary to protect the environment.
Prior to our work on HFCs, Micronesia was already driving efforts to protect the climate system with the Montreal Protocol. In 2008 we succeeded with another proposal to accelerate the phase out of HCFCs.
Now, phasing down HFCs is the next step, and there remains much work to be done. Leaders of the world’s biggest economies have sent a strong signal, and now Montreal Protocol negotiators and technical experts must design and agree to an equitable and ambitious plan to phase down HFCs. This work must commence in earnest at the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Bangkok, October 21-25, 2013.
We thank and acknowledge The Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of the Maldives for their co-sponsorship of the amendment proposal this year and for their hard work in generating support worldwide. We invite other countries to join our efforts and to work with us as we continue what will be a long and difficult but increasingly urgent effort to secure the international cooperation necessary to protect the climate system and to ensure the sustainability and prosperity of our societies.