In A Bid To Reduce Consumption Of HFCs, Bhutan Ratifies Kigali Amendment To The Montreal Protocol


The Kigali Amendment requires the phasing down on the use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Verdant fields of a village in Bhutan. (Source: Abdullah Mahmud 1311)


By Nima Kuensel

Joining the global movement to mitigate climate change, the National Assembly of Bhutan adopted the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer on 16 January.

Following ratifications by 65 countries of the 197 parties which are part of the Montreal protocol, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal protocol has been implemented since January 1 this year.

The house unanimously moved the motion to adopt the amendment, one day after the assembly’s deliberation on January 15.

What is the Montreal Protocol?

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty adopted in 1987 to protect the ozone layer. This can be achieved by phasing out the production of ozone-depleting substances (ODSs).

ODSs result in increased UV radiation reaching the earth, causing higher incidences of skin cancers and eye cataracts. ODSs also have negative impact on the immune systems, watersheds, agricultural lands and forests. 



Harvest time in Paro. Bhutan aims to be 100% organic. 

Photo: Druk Asia


The Agriculture Minister, Yeshey Penjore convinced the house on the need to adopt the Kigali Amendment and the benefits of the ratification.

The Lyonpo said that the ratification of the convention would help the country to strengthen the capacity of its customs, technicians and industries through technical assistance. It will also help to fortify projects related to technical training institutes and improve Bhutan’s technical skills.

“The Kigali Amendment was the fifth Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer adopted during the 28th Meeting of Parties held in Kigali, Rwanda in 2016,” the Minister said.

The amendment requires the phasing down on the use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), bringing into control both the production and consumption of HFCs.

The hazards of Hydrofluorocarbons to the environment

The HFCs are frequently used as substitutes for Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). Although they are non-ODS, they are still regarded as powerful greenhouse gases that have significant global warming potentials, according to a report from the National Environment Commission.

“The HFC used in refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps, propellants in aerosols, fire protection fluids, solvents and blowing agents to manufacture insulating foam are thousand times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide,” the report states.

The amendment is also expected to drive innovation and create new economic opportunities in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector.

The HFC phase-down implementation is expected to begin from 2024 till 2045. By the end of 2045, Bhutan is expected to reduce HFC consumption and production by 85 percent.

The ratification would restrict the trade of products that contain HFCs as provisioned by the protocol, which would benefit the country.



Glacier waters of the Rinchenzoe La, the highest pass on the Lunana trail, at an altitude of 5,269m. Like all passes in Bhutan, it is adorned with prayer flags, invoking deities to provide protection and safe passage to travellers.

Photo: Facebook/His Majesty king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck


All plans and projects related to the implementation of the amendment would be supported by the concerned international agencies.

The importance of educating the public against buying products which contain HFCs

While acknowledging the need to endorse the amendment as part of the global movement on climate change, Panbang Member of Parliament (MP), Dorji Wangdi said that people need to understand the benefit of not consuming products made using HFCs. It is essential to educate them on alternative refrigeration and air conditioning methods.

Khatoed Laya MP, Tenzin added that the easy availability of refrigerators and air conditioners across the border at cheaper cost poses high risk on the implementation of this amendment.

“Awareness on the need for people to stop buying products containing HFCs from across the border is important,” he said.

With the country moving into the ‘phase down’ mode, the lack of more desirable non-HFC alternatives is a cause of concern.

Bhutan also need to be cautious of illegal trade by being more vigilant at the customs of the bordering towns.

The global implementation of the Kigali Amendment is expected to prevent up to 80 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent of emissions by 2050.

Fulfilling this objective will make a significant contribution to the Paris Agreement which aims to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C.


This article first appeared in kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.


Related Posts

Bhutan Advocates Effective And Robust Implementation Of The Paris...

The delegation from Bhutan expressed concern over the lack of consensus to consider scientific facts presented at the...

Dec 18, 2018 14:19

Carbon Negative Bhutan Strives To Maintain Its Status As The...

The mountainous state absorbs three times more carbon dioxide than it emits, thanks mainly to the lush forests covering...

Oct 12, 2018 17:36

Study Finds Homestays And Eco-tourism Helped Preserve Bhutan’s...

The evaluation found that 98 percent of the homestays used exclusive traditional products like local food products and...

Aug 25, 2018 16:17

Bhutanese Architect Bags US$10,000 UN Environment Sustainability...

Deependra Pourel’s wish is to contribute his knowledge and experience to support Bhutan’s vision for a more efficiently...

May 10, 2018 13:58

Orange Trees Climb Higher in Bhutan with Climate Change

“Since the upper altitude regions are bearing more oranges than lower altitude regions, we believe it’s due to the...

Mar 25, 2018 21:13

Tree Hugger Photo Competition Organised In Bhutan To Celebrate...

The categories are as follows: the Best Tree Hugger, Smallest Tree Hugger, Largest Tree Hugger, Oldest Tree Hugger,...

Aug 30, 2018 12:32



Australia supports Bhutan in its COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery

Extending support to Bhutan in its fight against COVID-19, the Australian Government has supplied medical equipment in response to the Royal...

Sep 22, 2020 09:39

Virtual Tsechu in Bhutan amid Pandemic.

Tsechu (Festival ) is one of the biggest religious celebrations of the Bhutanese year in every district in Bhutan. Tsechu has been held...

Sep 21, 2020 12:38


The Heart Shaped Stone- Story to remember while you hike through Phobjikha Nature Trail.

Interesting Stories from the Trail

Sep 09, 2020 18:29

View from the Sky For Every Travellers Flying into Bhutan

Despite Boeing ranking Paro airport as 'one of the world's most difficult for takeoffs and landings, the views over the clear blue waters...

Aug 06, 2020 14:25


Football clubs in Bhutan gearing up for Bhutan Premier League (BPL) 2020

Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top national football tournament in Bhutan is set to commence on August 1.

Jul 24, 2020 14:33

Karma – Female Archer From Bhutan Qualified For Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quota

Karma has been specialising in Olympics-style archery since 2009.

Nov 30, 2019 13:18


Bhutan- The Kingdom of Peppers

Bhutan is a country with the highest per-capita consumption of chilli.

Sep 26, 2020 09:15

Are Local Vendors Earning More Money Than the Civil Servant?

A Farmer from Lango, Paro gave up farming to be vendor while office goers are switching into agriculture as the remedy to curb their...

Jul 27, 2020 19:15


The Significance of Jela Dzong

The journey towards the most popular Druk Path Trek starts with a short climb up to Jela Dzong. Jela Dzong is perched on top of the...

Sep 19, 2020 13:57

The Longest Urban Hiking Trail from PangriZampa to Lungtenphu, Thimphu

This trail is a less explored pocket of paradise for trekkers and wanderers who are in search of natures hospitality and solitude away from...

Aug 05, 2020 10:40


Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!