Montreal Protocol: Fixing the Ozone Layer and reducing Climate Change

Technicians with R290 Air Conditioner in a workshop during a training session.

The Ministry's Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) is the focal point of ozone monitoring and research activities in Kenya. The ozone monitoring and research programme is conducted within the context of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) programme that's coordinated from KMD's Mt.Kenya station.

Climate and ozone friendly technologies

As a Ministry, our responsibility is to support and encourage industries to adopt technologies that are ozone and Climate friendly. As part of this solemn obligation, the Ministry continues to work with partners and stakeholders in ensuring that Kenya attains complete phase-out of ozone depleting substances and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). We are determined to ensure that this objective is met within the broad principles stipulated by the ozone treaties.

Regarding the phase down of HFCs, I am pleased to note that Kenya is at the tail end of ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The amendment was recently ratified by Parliament and we are proceeding to deposit the ratification at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) next week.

Under true partnerships among key stakeholders, it is essential that we all continue to enhance awareness creation on the protection of the ozone layer as a critical climate change mitigation intervention as well as ensure that the agenda of adopting ozone and climate friendly technologies in Kenya is pursued relentlessly.

As the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, we once again commit to the protection of the ozone layer and by so doing, ensure that Kenya's current and future generations are safeguarded from the harmful effects of ozone depletion that include health complications resulting from exposure to the harmful ultra-violet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Principal Secretary Statement

As a signatory to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, as well as all the Protocol's Amendments, Kenya will on Saturday, 16th September join the rest of the world in marking this year's World Ozone Day. The national celebration will be held at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST) in Nakuru County.

World Ozone Day is a day established by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness on the importance of the ozone layer. It is celebrated on 16th September every year to commemorate the date of the signing in 1987 of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Every year, the World Ozone Day is celebrated with a unique theme. This theme is provided by the United Nations and is the basis of numerous events, debates and celebrations around the world. This year's theme is "Montreal Protocol: Fixing the Ozone Layer and reducing Climate Change".

The main purpose of commemorating World Ozone Day is to raise awareness on the need to preserve the ozone layer as climate change mitigation measure by encouraging people to take actions that are both ozone and climate friendly.

Worsening global climate crisis

Besides its critical role in safeguarding the earth from global warming, a scientific phenomenon that leads to climate change and ultimately to the worsening global climate crisis, ozone layer is very important for protecting human health from the harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun. The depletion of ozone layer has variously been attributed to the growing caseload of skin cancer, eye cataracts and immune ailments. Plant, animal and marine lives are also not spared from the harmful UV radiation.

Grain Chiller used at NCPB.

Furthermore, eleven institutions have received technical equipment, including fridges, freezers, and chillers using natural gas and refrigerant recovery units. Proper installation and maintenance are critical to emissions reduction, as refrigerant leakages from a conventional air conditioning system can release approximately two tons of CO2 equivalent annually. Recognizing that handling natural refrigerants requires specialized knowledge, PROKLIMA is aiding the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry in establishing a training and certification scheme for RAC technicians to enhance education, training, and harmonize standards.

In addition to training RAC technicians, we have also trained 167 customs officers in Ozone Depleting Substances control measures for imports and exports. We've provided analyzers to Kenya Revenue Authority, the Customs Service Department, and the National Environment Management Authority to identify refrigerants and prevent illegal imports.

Furthermore, the program has developed a strategy for the Kenyan RAC sector, offering policy recommendations. By implementing the National Cooling Action Plan, Kenya has the potential to significantly reduce national energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, positioning itself as a leader in the sustainable transformation of the cooling sector.

As we continue partnering with Kenya's Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, we anticipate the timely adoption of green cooling technologies in the country. Together, we aspire to change the refrigeration, air-conditioning, and foam sector for the better, minimizing environmental and climate impacts from private and commercial cooling systems while ensuring broader access to cooling for all.

Working with the people of Kenya on ozone and climate matters is a privilege, and we urge all Kenyans to actively participate in environmental conservation, thereby securing sustainable development for present and future generations.


The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted on 16th September, 1987 and entered into force on 1st January 1989. The Protocol has achieved universal ratification

The main objective of the Montreal Protocol has been to phase out production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and replace them with alternatives that would not be harmful to the Ozone Layer. As per the Protocol, countries are to adopt control measures for the phase - out of the consumption and production of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). These control measures include control measures under the Kigali Amendment, for the phase - down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are not ODS but, they are powerful greenhouse gases that have significant global warming potentials (GWPs)

The Montreal Protocol has been amended five times with the Kigali Amendment being the fifth in a series of amendments to the Protocol

Under the Kigali Amendment, countries will phase down production and consumption of HFCs creating the potential to avoid up to 0.5 C of warming by the end of the century.

Ratification of Kigali amendment

Developing Countries including Kenya, that ratify the Kigali Amendment will have access to financial and technical support provided under the Protocol

Kenya has successfully put much efforts to ensure that phase out of controlled substances and adoption of ozone and climate friendly alternatives and technologies are achieved and sustained

Kenya has in place the Controlled Substances Regulations and licensing system, among other measures; to control imports and exports of ODS. The Regulations have been reviewed to include HFCs, chemicals controlled under the Kigali Amendment.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry is implementing two Multilateral Funded projects, namely; Institutional Strengthening implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP), funded by the Government of France and implemented by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) Proklima of Germany.

The Ministry in collaboration with GIZ Proklima is implementing the Green Cooling Initiative III (GCI III) project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. In addition, GIZ procured RAC tools and equipment have been distributed to some of the RAC training institutions.

Kenya has developed the National Cooling Action Plan (NCAP) whose objective is to enhance access to sustainable cooling for all Kenyans.

The Kigali Implementation Plan (KIP) preparation is under way for the management of HFCs.

Compliance with Montreal Protocol

To-date, Kenya is in compliance with the Montreal Protocol requirements. 2022 Article 7 and Country Programme (CP) consumption data (ODS & HFCs) effectively and timely collected, analyzed, reconciled, compiled, and submitted to the Ozone Secretariat and Multilateral Fund Secretariat respectively.

Kenya has received financial and technical support through Multilateral Fund Implementing and Bilateral Agencies to implement approved Multilateral Funded projects on phase out activities

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry through the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in collaboration with GIZ Proklima, Department of Customs and Border Control of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and Government Training Institutions with Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (RAC) courses has trained customs officers on control measures in import and export of controlled substances and RAC technicians on good practices including safe use of flammable alternatives during repair and maintenance of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment respectively.

Capacity building and awareness creation

The training workshops are intended to bring awareness, acceptance and adoption of safe use and good practices, with the latest and safest Hydrocarbons (HCs) refrigerants.

Extensive theoretical and practical sessions are undertaken to build confidence to the trainees so that they could embrace the New Technologies on HCs Refrigerants while using related Tools and equipment.

During training, concerns on hydrocarbons (HCs) refrigerants flammability are highlighted and addressed comprehensively regarding how to handle, store and brazing of systems using hydrocarbons refrigerants as ozone and climate friendly alternatives to controlled substances

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) used Methyl Bromide gas as the preferred pesticide for grain in its silos for many years. Due to the 2015 deadline, the Board was forced to consider other alternative fumigants. Through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) financially and technically facilitated the phase out of the ozone depleting substance and this aid consisted of four phosphine gas generators and a chiller for cooling grain in the silos.

Vertical profile ozone measurement...

The measurement of vertical profile of ozone that monitors the state of the Ozone Layer in Kenya commenced in 1996 at Kenya Meteorological Department headquarters in Nairobi.

The ascents are done every Wednesday at 9.00 am using electrochemical Cell (ECC) Ozonesonde, coupled to a radiosonde and a balloon filled with 3 bars of hydrogen gas.

On release, the balloon rises at an average speed of 4 to 5 m/s. The data collected from the ascent is archived, analysed and used for research to assess the state of the Ozone Layer in Kenya in line with the Vienna Convection.

Most of the ozone is found in the stratosphere (90%). The highest concentration of ozone in Kenya is at about 23 - 30 km above mean sea level, with maximum ozone value of 13.04 parts per billion (ppb), and a pressure of 20 hectopascal (hpa) at about 27km high.