"Recognizing these accomplishments is important to foster innovation and inspire others to make a difference in protecting the environment," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. "Today's awards prove again that the Montreal Protocol has been instrumental in accelerating international commitments that will leave our planet a healthier, safer place for our children and grandchildren."
This year’s winners have made outstanding contributions in protecting the ozone layer, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving public awareness about environmental issues. In addition, they have established successful cancer prevention programs and helped countries develop effective strategies to comply with the Montreal Protocol.
Several awardees are being honored for lifetime achievements, including the team of scientists who documented the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole 25 years ago: Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin.
The Montreal Protocol, signed by 196 countries, was designed to reduce and eventually eliminate ozone-depleting substances. The phase-out of ozone-depleting substances, including hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, necessitates a long-term commitment from all developed and developing countries alike. HCFCs and some of the alternatives, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are global warming gases, and their continued production contributes to climate change.
Earlier this year, the
U.S., Canada, and jointly submitted a proposal to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs globally, with the potential of reducing 88,000 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050, the equivalent of removing 420 million passenger cars each year through 2050. This proposal will be considered at the November Meeting of the Parties in Mexico . Uganda