The depleting of the Ozone layer Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
DefinitionsThe ozone layer is a layerin Earthsatmosphere containingrelatively highconcentrations of ozone(O3) found in the lowerportion ofthe stratosphere fromapproximately 20 to 30kilometers above Earth.
The Montreal Protocol is an environmentalagreement signed on 16 September 1987 by 46countries and entered into force on 1 January1989
How does the Protocol work?The Montreal Protocolcontrols the emition ofvarious gases that aredangerous to theOzone layer. Its maingoal is to phase outthe gasses that meandanger to the ozonelayer.
Gases Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)One of the most important goalsof the Protocol is to phase outCFSs because of it’s an activeozone reducer. The limitationbegan in 1991.
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)The HCFCs are transitional CFCsreplacements, used asrefrigerants, solvents, blowingagents for plastic foammanufacture, and fireextinguishers. The parties of theprotocol had agreed to set year2013 as the time to freeze theconsumption and production ofHCFCs. They also agreed to startreducing its consumption andproduction in 2015.
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)HFCs replaced CFCs andHCFCs in developedcountries after theywere phased out. Theydon’t harm the ozonelayer, however they aresuper-greenhouse gaseswith an extremely highglobal warmingpotential.
Multilateral FundThe Multilateral Fund was established in 1991 toassist developing countries meet their MontrealProtocol commitments. Since 1991, the Fund has approved activities including industrial conversion, technical assistance, training and capacity building worth over US $3.0 billion.
The reason the Protocol is needed• The main reason the Protocol was created is to protect the Earth’s fragile Ozone layer• Respond quickly to new scientific information.• Enables the control of new chemicals
PartiesThe Protocol was ratified by197 states and the EuropeanUnion making it the mostwidely ratified treaty in UnitedNations history along with theVienna Protocol.
Without the ozone layerOzone absorbs most of theultraviolet-B (UV-B)radiation reaching thesurface of theplanet, depletion of theozone layer by CFCs wouldlead to an in increase inUV-B radiation at thesurface, resulting in anincrease in skin cancer andother impacts such asdamage to crops.
Other regulationsThere is also an otherregulation called theViennaConvention, which alsofocuses on reducing theglobal consumption ofcontrolled ozonedepleting substances
AmendmentsThere has been five modificationsmade to the Montreal Protocol sofar and four of them strengthenedthe Instrument. Thesemodifications are:• London Amendment (1990)• Copenhagen Amendment (1992)• Vienna (1995)• Montreal Amendment (1997)• Beijing Amendment (1999)
AdjustmentsThere has been alsoseveral adjustments tothe Protocol in1990, 1992, 1997, 1999 and in 2007