Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development

Prestigious Sustainable Development Prize Awarded to Pioneering Climate Scientists Ramanathan and Hansen

If the world would to listen to their wisdom, we might still avert climate chaos

Taipei, Taiwan, 18 June 2018— Today the third biennial Tang Prize for Sustainable Development 2018 was awarded to Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan and Dr. James E. Hansen recognizing their pioneering work on climate change and its impact on the sustainability of the earth.

Professor V. Ramanathan was the first scientist to discover the significant greenhouse effects of non-COgases and aerosols, including short-lived climate pollutants, in warming the Earth’s climate. His discovery on the climate forcing effects of chlorofluorocarbons was seminal to the language of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1985 to include climate effects. Ramanathan’s later efforts on these non-COsuper pollutants, including methane and black carbon, contributed to the creation in 2012 of the UN Environment’s Climate & Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants.

Dr. Hansen was one of the first scientists to sound the alert on climate change. In 1988 he famously announced in televised testimony before the US Congress, “global warming is here,” as the observed temperature record exhibited an atypical rise above the statistical noise of natural fluctuations. Dr. Hansen’s testimony was pivotal in the history of global climate change.

“The lifetime commitment to science of Professor Ramanathan and Dr. Hansen built the foundation for the global sustainability agenda as we know it,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “Not only are they great scientists, but they’re also sophisticated policy advocates.  If the world would listen to their wisdom, we might still have a chance to avert climate chaos.”

Ramanathan and Hansen are today leading the way to promote a three-lever strategy to keep the climate safe by limiting warming to well below 2°C by: cutting carbon dioxide emissions by shifting to renewables and promoting energy efficiency; cutting short-lived climate pollutants, which can provide twice or more avoided warming as cutting long-lived carbon dioxide can through 2050; and managing carbon dioxide after it has been emitted, by capturing it and turning it into useful products like cement and fuel, and by expanding forests and other ecosystems, including grasslands, wetlands, and mangroves.

The Tang Prize committee stated, “Scientific foundation is a pre-condition for action. Recognizing Dr. James Hansen and Prof. Veerabhadran Ramanathan with the 2018 Tang Prize in Sustainable Development acknowledges the extraordinary value of rigorous scientific inquiry and forthright public communication of science leading to actions for the benefit of humanity.

Past winners of the Tang Prize include Professor Arthur H. Rosenfeld (2016) for his pioneering innovation in energy efficiency and Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland (2014) for her innovation and global leadership in the creation and promotion of the field of sustainable development.

More information on the work of Professor Ramanathan, is here.

Hansen’s latest paper, Young people’s burden: requirement of negative CO2emissions, is here.

June 18, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Press Releases | No comment

Dangerous Warming Ahead from Air Conditioning

Fast action to improve AC efficiency needed to protect climate

Paris, France, 15 May 2018—Global energy demand for air conditioning (ACs) is projected to triple by 2050, and when met with the current fossil fuel-heavy electricity generation will nearly double greenhouse gas emissions from this sector, from 1.25 billion tons in 2016 to 2.28 billion tons a year in 2050, further increasing the world’s need for cooling in a dangerous feedback loop.

These are the conclusions of the new International Energy Agency (IEA) report, “The Future of Cooling” which warns that the growing use of ACs in homes and offices worldwide will be one of the top drivers of electricity demand over the next three decades, consuming as much electricity as all of China today by 2050. IEA’s findings confirm earlier studies that calculate cooling energy demand could increase 40-fold by 2100.

“Keeping cool will doom the planet if we don’t make air conditioning super-efficient,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “We need a pledge from big buyers to buy only super-efficient ACs, plus a ban on selling inefficient AC vampires that steal vital energy that emerging countries need for development, and of course we also need to jack up minimum energy standards, all of which can save consumers money on their electricity bills, reduce air pollution, and keep the planet, as well as its citizens, cool.”

Making cooling more efficient will save as much as USD $2.9 trillion in investment, fuel, and operating costs, according to the IEA.

The new report calculates that stringent energy efficiency policies can cut AC energy demand in half by 2050. In a previous study, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, calculated that a modest 30% improvement in room AC efficiency could save the equivalent of up to 705 medium size peak power plants in 2030, and up to 1,137 power plants in 2050.

In addition, under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, agreed October 2016, countries are phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful greenhouse gases used as refrigerants in AC’s. “Reducing HFCs under the Kigali Amendment will prevent up to 0.5°C of warming by 2100, and in tandem, with improvements in cooling efficiency we should be able to double this,” added Zaelke.

“Growing electricity demand for air conditioning is one of the most critical blind spots in today’s energy debate,” said Dr. Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of the IEA. “With rising incomes, air conditioner ownership will skyrocket, especially in the emerging world. While this will bring extra comfort and improve daily lives, it is essential that efficiency performance for ACs be prioritized.”

IEA’s full report, The Future of Cooling, is here, and their press release is here.

The Lawrence Berkeley report is here.

May 15, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Press Releases | No comment

World Health Organization Warns 90% of People at Risk from Air Pollution

7 million premature deaths per year linked to air pollution

Geneva, Switzerland, 2 May 2018 – Ninety percent of people worldwide breathe polluted air, according to new estimates released today by the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2016, polluted air resulted in 7 million deaths globally—4.2 million from ambient air pollution and 3.8 million from the burning of solid fuels for heating and cooking—with low- and middle-income countries bearing the brunt of the burden.

The WHO also recognized the role of air pollution, which includes major climate forcers such as black carbon, as a critical risk factor for non-communicable diseases, contributing to a significant percentage of all adult deaths from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

“Air pollution not only poses a dangerous threat to all citizens but also the planet. Black carbon, a key component of air pollution, is also a powerful climate forcer, which further accelerates climate change by decreasing the world’s reflective ice and snow,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development. “With this combination of benefits, reducing air pollutants should be a top priority for sustainable development and climate protection.”

Despite the high and dangerous levels of air pollution recorded worldwide, the WHO reports some positive progress with more countries taking measures to tackle and reduce particulate matter. The WHO’s database is now the world’s most comprehensive, comprised of more than 4300 cities in 108 countries, reflecting a stronger global commitment to air quality assessment and monitoring.

“If we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals or the Paris Agreement temperature targets, we must take urgent action now,” said Romina Picolotti, President of the Center for Human Rights and Environment. “We are all at risk and we must act fast to protect our societies and the planet. To know the level of pollution in your city you can use WHO/CCAC tool at http://breathelife2030.org.”

The database, summary of results, methodology used for compiling the data and WHO country groupings can be found here.

IGSD’s Primer on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants is here.

May 2, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Press Releases | No comment

Morocco Takes Lead Tackling Inefficient ACs

19 April 2018, Washington, D.C. – At the 4th annual US-Morocco Trade Forum the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency (AMEE) and the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (IGSD) signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in developing more effective analytical methods to identify the highest efficiency room air conditioners (ACs) available using refrigerants friendlier to climate.

“AMEE is pleased that IGSD will join with us on this important project in making it possible for citizens of Morocco to have the best new technology,” proclaimed Mr. Saïd Mouline, Chief Executive Officer of AMEE.

AC use is responsible for a large and increasing fraction of electricity demand and peak load, particularly in large metropolitan cities, in emerging economies, and in hot climates, like Morocco. A simultaneous transition to the use of climate-friendly refrigerants in the world stock of room ACs with a ~30% improvement of efficiency would avoid peak load equivalent to over 1,500 power plants by 2030, reducing CO2 along with other air pollutants associated with AC use while minimizing cost.

The new analytical methods to be developed by IGSD and AMEE will help better understand the impact of Morocco’s climate zones and the country’s economic circumstances in determining the most cost-effective and climate-friendly ACs for the country. “Morocco is the best possible partner for this innovative cooperation,” said Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, Director of Research at IGSD and lead of the IGSD and AMEE project, “because Morocco can influence all of Africa to invest sustainably in the next-generation AC technology.”

Reducing the use of environmentally harmful refrigerants in Morocco falls in line with the world’s commitments made in October 2016 under the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment, a scheduled phase-down of polluting refrigerants called hydrofluorocarbons. The amendment will avoid the equivalent of nearly 100 billion tons of CO2 by 2050 and up to 0.5°C of warming by 2100.

Two additional MoUs were signed at Thursday’s Forum, one to mobilize resources to support the Morocco Growth Fund and the other to boost bilateral trade relations between the country and the United States Chamber of Commerce.

April 19, 2018 at 10:55 am | Press Releases | No comment

Fast Mitigation to Save Lives and the Planet in Latin America and the Caribbean

Washington, DC – The implementation of measures to reduce air pollution and short-lived climate pollutants – which include black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – will reduce warming in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) up to 0.9º C by 2050, whilst providing significant other co-benefits. These are the conclusions of the first ever Integrated Assessment of Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) for the region.

The assessment, developed by 90 authors and led by experts from the region, was released today by the United Nations Environment Programme(UN Environment) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition(CCAC). It concludes, efforts to reduce air and climate pollutants in the region could also help countries reap immediate and long-terms benefits for health, reducing premature deaths from pollution by at least 26% from fine particulate matter and 40% from ozone annually, and avoid the loss of 3 – 4 million tonnes of staple crops –soybeans, maize, wheat, and rice – each year.

“For LAC, and for the world, cutting SLCPs is critical for climate protection,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute of Governance and Sustainable Development and a CCAC partner. “We can’t win the fight against climate change without fast mitigation action like these, which will make the difference between living in a safe climate and suffering from uncontrollable impacts, not least from feedback mechanisms that risk irreversible and potentially catastrophic effects”.

The LAC assessment identifies six technical and policy measures targeting methane, nine addressing major sources of black carbon, and six for HFCs, which can reduce regional emissions of these pollutants by 45%, 69%, and more than 80% respectively by 2030, with many positive examples of the required measures already in place across the region. Of the six measures for eliminating high-warming HFCs the rapid ratification and implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is noted, which itself can avoid up to 0.5º Cglobally by the end of the century.

“These proposed near-term goals will help focus global action towards immediately available opportunities to avoid disaster,” said contributing author of the AssessmentRomina Picolotti, and IGSD Senior Counsel.“Quantifying the multiple benefits of air and super pollutant mitigation policies will allow for LAC to fully capitalize on the inherent synergies and co-benefits in these mitigation strategies, bringing the region closer to achieving their Paris Agreement commitments, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals”.

The Integrated Assessment of Short-lived Climate Pollutants in Latin America and the Caribbean is here.

  The CCAC’s press release on the Assessment is here.


April 18, 2018 at 5:54 pm | News | No comment

Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences to publish Well Under 2C: Ten Solutions for Carbon Neutrality & Climate Stability

Vatican City, VaticanWell Under 2 Degrees Celsius: Ten Solutions for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Stability, authored by 33 scientists and policy experts and co-chaired by Prof. V. Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Nobel Laureate Mario Molina, and IGSD President Durwood Zaelke, to be included in book published by the Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Ten Solutions for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Stability is based on the Well Under 2 Degrees Celsius: Fast Action Policies to Protect People and the Planet from Extreme Climate Change report by the same authors (see IGSD press release).

The forthcoming book builds on the Academy’s November 2017 workshop Health of People, Health of Planet and Our Responsibility: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health and the workshop’s declaration “Our Planet, Our Health, Our Responsibility.”


Well Under 2 Degrees Celsius: Ten Solutions for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Stability is here.

Well Under 2 Degrees Celsius: Fast Action Policies to Protect People and the Planet from Extreme Climate Change is here.

More information on the Vatican workshop held November 2-4 2017, Health of People, Health of Planet and Our Responsibility: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health is here.

March 13, 2018 at 10:03 am | News | No comment

Making Our Planet Great Again Requires Fast Action

President Macron is uniquely suited to be the world’s leading climate protector and at this week’s One Planet Summit, he must issue an urgent call for fast action and a message of urgent optimism: if we act quickly there is still, barely, enough time to address the climate crisis.

To bend the emissions curves fast and successfully limit global temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, requires rapid decarbonizing the global energy system by 2050, quick cuts to super pollutants like HFCs, methane, and black carbon by 2020 and CO2 management post emission, including atmospheric carbon extraction.

Read full Op-Ed on Huffington Post, “Making Our Planet Great, Again, Requires Fast Action”, by Paul Bledsoe, Maxime Beaugrand, & Durwood Zaelke.

December 12, 2017 at 5:03 pm | News | No comment

World Environment Minsters Pursue ‘Pollution Free Planet’, Tackle Super Climate Pollutants

Nairobi, Kenya, 6 December 2017 — Environment ministers at the United Nations Environment Assembly agreed today to a resolution to reduce all forms of air pollution to improve health, climate, and agricultural co-benefits, and to reduce 6.5 million deaths air pollution now causes every year, an estimated expected to increase by more than 50% by 2050.

The resolution notes the importance of black carbon, methane, and ground-level ozone air pollution—the short-lived climate pollutants—for climate change mitigation. In addition, the ministers at UNEA recognized the leading role of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition in the battle to reduce air pollution and slow climate change and made a recommendation to all countries to consider joining or cooperating with the Coalition.

The UNEA resolution, Preventing and Reducing Air Pollution to Improve Air Quality Globally, states:

The United Nations Environment Assembly

Recognizing that some air pollutants, such as black carbon, methane and ground-level ozone, are also short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) and are responsible for a significant portion of air pollution-related deaths, as well as impacts on crops and hence food security, and their reduction has co-benefits for the climate. ***

1) Reaffirms the call in United Nations Environment Assembly resolution 1/7 for Member States to take action across sectors to reduce all forms of air pollution and urges member states to:

c. Include, as appropriate, air pollutants that are also short-lived climate pollutants in national action programmes to prevent and reduce air pollution ***

2) Encourages Member States when undertaking activities in paragraph 1 above to:

b. Consider joining or cooperating with, as appropriate, relevant global initiatives such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and the Global Methane Initiative;

The resolution was adopted by the environment ministers at the 3rd United Nations Environment Assembly, which convened at United Nations Environment headquarters in Nairobi 4-6 December.

The other short-lived climate pollutant, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), were also mentioned in the final outcome document, The Ministerial Declaration of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet”, where ministers recognized the Kigali Amendment to phasedown HFCs. Last month the Kigali Amendment crossed the ratification threshold in the run up to the 30th Anniversary celebratory meeting of the parties of the Montreal Protocol and will now enter into force 1 January 2019. The UNEA Ministerial Declaration states:

3. We also believe that the knowledge and technological solutions to reduce pollution already exist, though many stakeholders have yet to explore and implement the many opportunities available. We are encouraged by the numerous success stories of countries, cities and businesses addressing air, soil, freshwater and marine pollution issues. Recent examples include the adoption of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and the entry into force of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

The CCAC hosted a high level panel discussion at UNEA on “Fast action on air pollution provides quick results and multiple benefits, focusing on the latest science behind air pollution and the opportunities and benefits that fast action on reducing short-lived climate pollutants has for health, the climate, development, and economic growth.

The CCAC event included new research by several members of its Science Advisory Panel published last month in Nature Climate Change, highlighting how measures to reduce these dangerous air pollutants and short-lived climate pollutants could help meet all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the ambitious goal of slowing warming by 0.5°C over the next quarter of a century.

“To capitalize on the inherent synergies and co-benefits between air pollution reduction, climate change mitigation, the Paris Agreement goals, and the SDGs, it is important to quantify the multiple benefits of air pollutant mitigation policies, while addressing potential trade-offs”, said Romina Picolotti, IGSD Senior Counsel. “The decision taken today by ministers at UNEA have set us on a path to reduce air pollution and much more. The CCAC, through its seven sectoral and four cross-cutting initiatives, is working to provide guidance and institutional support to develop and implement strategies to quickly reduce black carbon, methane and HFC emissions”, she added.


For further information, see the Well Under 2°C report and accompanying paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, here.

December 6, 2017 at 11:43 am | Press Releases | No comment

Montreal Protocol Concludes 30th Anniversary with Robust Financial Replenishment, Progress on Energy Efficiency

Montreal, Canada, 25 November 2017 — Early this morning at the conclusion of the 30th anniversary Meeting of the Parties (MOP) of the Montreal Protocol the Parties agreed to a robust three-year replenishment of $540 million to fund the continuing phase out of HCFCs, and to a separate decision to have the Technology & Economic Assessment Panel study how best to integrate energy efficiency with the HFC phasedown under the Kigali Amendment.

The energy efficiency decision was submitted by India, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the African Group. It recognizes the importance of maintaining and enhancing energy efficiency during the switch from high-global warming potential HFCs to low-GWP alternatives in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sectors. This has the potential to avoid significant CO2 emissions from the power plants that provide the electricity to run these products and equipment, estimated by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory to equal the production from of up to nearly 1,600 medium-sized (500 MW) peak-load power plants by 2030, and up to 2,500 power plants by 2050.

In addition, UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim launched a Global Clean Cooling Campaign to support Montreal Protocol Parties to include energy efficiency while phasing down HFCs. This important effort is funded by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP), a philanthropic fund of $52 million dedicated to catalyze energy efficiency in the cooling sector. K-CEP announced the Campaign via twitter: “Erik Solheim launches package in support of Montreal Protocol work on #Cooling #efficiency to avoid up to 1°C. http://bit.ly/2hV4Xxa  @UNEP #MOP29 #KigaliAmendment”.

“That 1°C of avoided warming may be the most significant contribution the world could make to the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement, to keep the increase in average world temperatures to well below 2°C, aiming for 1.5°C above their pre-industrial level,” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development.

The U.S. continued its support of the Montreal Protocol, a treaty that started under President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  U.S. head of delegation Judith G. Garber, U.S Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, stated:

“The United States views the Montreal Protocol as of one of the world’s most successful multilateral environmental agreements. When he signed the Montreal Protocol, President Reagan said, and I quote: “The Montreal Protocol is a model of cooperation. It is a product of the recognition and international consensus that ozone depletion is a global problem, both in terms of its causes and its effects. The Protocol is the result of an extraordinary process of scientific study, negotiations among representatives of the business and environmental communities, and international diplomacy. It is a monumental achievement.” It is to the credit of everyone in this room that this statement is as true today as it was 30 years ago…

The United States believes the Kigali Amendment represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to phasing down the production and consumption of HFCs, and therefore we support the goals and approach of the Amendment.

There are a number of steps in our domestic process that we would need to complete before reaching a final decision on transmittal of the Kigali Amendment to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent.

There is no timeline currently determined for these steps, but we have initiated the process to consider U.S. ratification of the Amendment.

We have enjoyed working with all of you for the past 30 years and look forward to continuing our cooperation. We have much work ahead of us, but we can rely on a strong foundation built by decades of Ozone Heroes. We can, and will, continue that incredible legacy.”

In the run up to this year’s meeting on 17th November 2017, Sweden became the 20th Party to deposit its instrument of ratification to the Kigali Amendment, which ensures that the amendment will enter into force 1 January 2019. The amendment will eliminate warming from HFCs —one of the six main greenhouse gases. Many other Parties are poised to complete their own ratification shortly.

While exhausted after a long week and a longer night, Parties were proud to conclude the 30th Anniversary of what is widely considered the world’s most successful treaty, which is continuing to deliver for the Earth. This time, agreements on financing, energy efficiency, and having 20 Parties announce ratification of the Kigali Amendment, send the strongest signals possible to the markets, and the best climate news for the world.

An Op-Ed by Nobel Laureate Mario Molina & Durwood Zaelke, The Montreal Protocol: Triumph by Treaty, is here.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s opening speech is here.

IGSD’s HFC Primer is here.

For further information, contact Durwood Zaelke at zaelke@igsd.org; cell: 1.202.498.2457

November 25, 2017 at 1:41 am | Feature homepage, Press Releases | No comment

UN Environment Honors IGSD and Collaborators for Climate Work

Ceremony at 30th Anniversary of Montreal Protocol

IGSD and its collaborators were among those honored at this year’s 30th anniversary Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, where UN Environment recognized individuals, Parties, and organizations who have made extraordinary contributions to the progress and achievements of the Montreal Protocol, widely regarded as the world’s most effective environmental treaty.

IGSD President Durwood Zaelke and IGSD Director of Researcher Dr. Stephen O. Andersen each received the Montreal Protocol Policy and Implementation Leadership Award for their respective contributions towards gathering consensus and rallying political momentum behind the Kigali Amendment (the only NGOs to have been presented with this award).

The Kigali Amendment, agreed at last year’s Meeting of the Parties in Kigali, Rwanda, will avoid the equivalent of 80 to 105 billion tons of CO2 by 2050, and up to 0.5°C of warming by 2100, making it the single most significant contribution to keeping warming within the Paris Agreement goals of staying well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, aiming for the still safer 1.5°C.


Left to right: Nathan Borgford-Parnell, CCAC Science Advisor and former IGSD Staff Attorney; Dr. Gabrielle Dreyfus, IGSD Senior Scientist; Richard Ferris, IGSD Senior Counsel; Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, IGSD Director of Research; Romina Picolotti, IGSD Senior Counsel; Tony Oposa, IGSD Senior Advisor; and Dr. Nancy Sherman, IGSD Director of Technical Assessment. Borgford-Parnell accepted the Political Leadership Award on behalf of the CCAC, and Picolotti accepted the Policy and Implementation Leadership Award on behalf of IGSD President Durwood Zaelke.

IGSD also shared a Scientific Leadership Award as part of the “Velders Team” led by Dutch scientist Dr. Guus J.M. Velders for their pioneering research on the climate benefits of the Montreal Protocol and their efforts to build the scientific foundation for the 2007 Adjustment to the Protocol accelerating the HCFC phaseout and the 2016 Kigali Amendment to phasedown HFCs.

The scientists earning the award include Dr. Guus J.M. Velders, Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, Dr. John S. Daniel, Dr. David Fahey, and Dr. Mack McFarland. Zaelke and Marco Gonzalez, former Executive Secretary of the Montreal Protocol Secretariat, were included in the Scientific Leadership Award with the Velders Team for their work communicating and promoting the team’s scientific findings to the public and policymakers. The Velders Team inspired other scientific papers leading to an improved understanding and appreciation of the climate impacts of CFCs, HCFCs, and HFCs.  Earlier this year, Guus Velders also was selected by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2017.

“IGSD is proud to have played a role in the acceleration of the HCFC phaseout and adoption and ratification of the Kigali Amendment and we continue to encourage all countries to ratify as soon as possible,” Dr. Andersen said. “To receive this award during the 30th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the most successful environmental treaty ever, is a high honor. We are confident that through the Kigali Amendment, the Montreal Protocol will do for HFCs what it has successfully done to reduce nearly 100 ozone depleting greenhouse gases.”

“The Kigali Amendment is the single largest contribution to date to keep warming from breaching the 1.5° C barrier”, said Zaelke. “It’s safe to say that the world could not have achieved this without the Velders Team.”

Others honored at the 30th Anniversary award ceremony include Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the International Expert Panel for their study on Alternative Refrigerant Evaluation for High-Ambient-Temperature Environments. Dr. Suely Machado Carvalho, a frequent IGSD collaborator, co-chaired the International Expert Panel with Dr. Patrick Phelan, and Dr. Omar Abdelaziz led the study.

Awards also were presented to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the Environmental Investigation Agency, and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy. Awards for Best Media Coverage went to Jianming Chen, Down To Earth, and Windfall Films and BBC. The Windfall Films’ series on the success of the Montreal Protocol includes The Ozone Hole, a film featuring interviews with Zaelke and Andersen, among others. The Ozone Hole had its opening in Montreal the night before the Awards and will air next year on BBC.

The Policy Leadership award depicts the Chinese Goddess Nüwa who smelted a seven color stone to block a hole in the sky to repair the wall of heaven. A 3.9 metre high sculpture of Nüwa was produced by celebrated artist Yuan Xikun for the 25th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, who chose the figure to draw parallels with modern-day challenges of ozone depletion and climate change. The statute was unveiled at the UN offices in Vienna.


The statue of Nüwa being unveiled at the Vienna International Centre,Vienna, Austria. Photo by M. Evstafyev/UNIDO

The Ozone Secretariat’s Ozone Awards 2017 homepage is here. Biographies of recipients of the Ozone Awards 2017 are here.

November 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Feature homepage, News | No comment

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