The Ozone Secretariat, which manages the international agreement that is healing the planet’s ozone layer and contributing to the fight against climate change, has made its operations carbon neutral for the third year in a row.
The Secretariat measured the carbon footprint of all meetings held and operations conducted under the Montreal Protocol in 2016 and offset the greenhouse gas emissions created.
“By reducing and offsetting our own emissions, we are showing our commitment to a better future for our planet and we practice what we preach,” said Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which will enter into force on 1 January 2019, targets a reduction in the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These chemical compounds became widely used substitutes for ozone-depleting substances phased out under the Montreal Protocol, but are climate-warming gases.
The Ozone Secretariat worked with UN Climate Change – the secretariat that runs the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), under which the Paris Agreement sits – to determine its carbon footprint and purchase Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from the Adaptation Fund.
The Adaptation Fund finances projects to help developing countries adapt to the negative effects of climate change. CERs, which are issued by the Clean Development Mechanism, provide funding to projects that have proven climate mitigation benefits and back sustainable development in developing countries.
UN Climate Change issued a certificate confirming the voluntary cancellation of 2,215 Adaptation Fund CERs to compensate for unavoidable emissions from the offices and travel operations of the Ozone Secretariat in 2016. Cancelling CERs puts them out of circulation and prevents re-use.
As well as its normal travel and operations, the certificates compensate for all travel emissions related to the thirty-ninth Open-ended Working Group of the parties to the Montreal Protocol, the joint Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention and the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, and all meetings of the Assessment Panels of the Montreal Protocol.
The Secretariat used a web-based carbon calculator created by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to calculate its emissions.