DUBAI, UAE, 12 September 2023: The United Arab Emirates has expressed its appreciation of the consensus reached by GCC region nations to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. Making the announcement through a Press release, the UAE Government said the consensus takes into consideration the unified position of the GCC region and the annexe to the mechanisms for ratifying the Kigali Amendment.
The Press release said the consensus came during the participation of H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE, in the 25th meeting of the GCC Region committee of the ministers responsible for climate and environment affairs. The meeting, the release said, was hosted by the Sultanate of Oman in Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.
Addressing the meeting, H. E. Almheiri said: “The phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is one of the most important topics we have been discussing over the past years, and to reach a consensus. Our cooperation has yielded results, and the UAE applauds the agreement to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The UAE also hopes to work to speed up the ratification process with the GCC nations.”
E. Almheiri further said reaching the consensus highlights the commitment of the nations in the GCC region to reducing emissions and mitigating the effect of climate change. The release also said that she invited all ministers and officials to attend the upcoming COP28 Conference in the UAE, which will have a significant impact on showcasing the region’s stature in promoting global climate action.
The UAE Government said the Kigali Amendment will help curb up to 0.4 degrees C of global warming in this century while continuing to protect the ozone layer, and the amendment will substantively contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Additionally, the release said, HFCs are organic compounds frequently used as refrigerants in air conditioners and other devices as alternatives to ozone-depleting substances controlled under the Montreal Protocol. While HFCs, the release said, do not deplete the ozone layer, they are highly potent greenhouse gases with global warming potential three times higher than carbon dioxide.
The release said the agenda of the meeting included sessions on several key themes, such as the environmental landscape and trends in the GCC region countries, the decision regarding non-tariff restrictions on the environment, the decisions of the Ministerial Council at its 154th session to establish a Gulf Pavilion at COP28, other strategic plans of the Committee and the Gulf Environmental Portal.
The participants in the meeting also discussed cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the need to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, as well as the Convention on the Conservation of Wildlife and their Natural Habitats in the GCC region countries, the 16th Conference of the parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and how to strengthen cooperation between the GCC region countries and other nations, the release further said.
The release further said the resolutions made at the meeting include:
- Assigning specialised committees within the GCC region to measure the implementation of the environmental guidelines by all the member states.
- Committing to provide full support to the Middle East Green Initiative, as underlined by the Supreme Council of the GCC region during its 42nd session.
- Promoting collaboration with the General Secretariat to share initiatives in combating climate change and to highlight them at the General Secretariat’s pavilion at COP28, from November 30 to December 12. The submission deadline is set for mid-October 2023.
- Continuing to host seminars, conferences and workshops at the national level, specifically aligned with the strategic plan of the Ministerial Committee.
- Conducting regular meetings with environmental and media experts in the GCC region countries.
- Approving the GCC region’s position and annexe regarding implementing the United Nations Environment Assembly Resolution (5/14) on ending plastic pollution, including marine plastic pollution, “towards a legally binding instrument”.
- Approving the unified system on substances depleted of the ozone layer by the GCC region countries.
- Approving a unified Gulf position and annexe regarding the mechanisms for ratifying the Kigali Amendments to the Montreal Protocol.
- Announcing the consensus of GCC region countries on ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.