"Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol." -Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations
The Montreal Protocol, finalized in 1987, is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The stratospheric ozone layer filters out harmful ultraviolet radiation, which is associated with increased prevalence of skin cancer and cataracts. The United States ratified the Montreal Protocol in 1988 and has joined its four subsequent amendments. The U.S. has been a leader within the Protocol and has taken strong domestic action to phase out the use of ODS such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons. Over two million tons of ODS have been phased out under the Montreal Protocol since its inception.
A great deal of work continues to ensure protection of the ozone layer, particularly in developing countries. Through the Protocol�s Multilateral Fund, over $1.98 billion has been used to help lesser-developed countries make the transition from ozone-depleting substances.
The Montreal Protocol has been amended four times since 1987. These amendments introduced additional control measures and added new regulated substances to the list.
Scientists estimate that implementation of the Montreal Protocol may allow the ozone layer to return to its pre-industrial levels by 2060-2075. The United States continues to work with its partners from all over the world to ensure that progress moves forward on protection of the stratospheric ozone layer.
The full text of the Protocol and other publication are available through the UNEP Ozone Secretariat.
--(04/30/2010) Decision: Consideration for phase-out of HFC-23 as a byproduct emission of HCFC-22 with high global warming potential.
--(04/30/2010) Summary Points: North American HFC Submission to the Montreal
--(04/30/2010) Text of HFC Phasedown Amendment Proposal
--(03/15/2007) Leading the Way in Improving Ozone Protection: Adjustments to the Montreal Protocol Would Speed Elimination of Ozone-Depleting Substances