Montreal Protocol | Wikipedia audio article


The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete
the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone
Layer) is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out
the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion. It was
agreed on 26 August 1987, and entered into force on 16 September 1989, following a first
meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. Since then, it has undergone nine revisions, in 1990 (London),
1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), 1998 (Australia),
1999 (Beijing) and 2016 (Kigali) As a result of the international agreement, the ozone
hole in Antarctica is slowly recovering. Climate projections indicate that the ozone layer
will return to 1980 levels between 2050 and 2070. Due to its widespread adoption and implementation
it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation, with Kofi Annan
quoted as saying that “perhaps the single most successful international agreement to
date has been the Montreal Protocol”. In comparison, effective burden sharing and solution proposals
mitigating regional conflicts of interest have been among the success factors for the
ozone depletion challenge, where global regulation based on the Kyoto Protocol has failed to
do so. In this case of the ozone depletion challenge, there was global regulation already
being installed before a scientific consensus was established. Also, overall public opinion
was convinced of possible imminent risks.The two ozone treaties have been ratified by 197
parties (196 states and the European Union), making them the first universally ratified
treaties in United Nations history.These truly universal treaties have also been remarkable
in the expedience of the policy-making process at the global scale, where only 14 years lapsed
between a basic scientific research discovery (1973) and the international agreement signed
(1985 & 1987).==Terms and purposes==
The treaty is structured around several groups of halogenated hydrocarbons that deplete stratospheric
ozone. All of the ozone depleting substances controlled by the Montreal Protocol contain
either chlorine or bromine (substances containing only fluorine do not harm the ozone layer).
Some ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) are not yet controlled by the Montreal Protocol,
including nitrous oxide (N2O) For a table of ozone-depleting substances controlled by
the Montreal Protocol see:For each group of ODSs, the treaty provides a timetable on which
the production of those substances must be shot out and eventually eliminated. This included
a 10-year phase-in for developing countries identified in Article 5 of the treaty.===Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) Phase-out Management
Plan===The stated purpose of the treaty is that the
signatory states “Recognizing that worldwide emissions of certain
substances can significantly deplete and otherwise modify the ozone layer in a manner that is
likely to result in adverse effects on human health and the environment. Determined to
protect the ozone layer by taking precautionary measures to control equitably total global
emissions of substances that deplete it with the ultimate objective of their elimination
on the basis of developments in scientific knowledge”
“Acknowledging that special provision is required to meet the needs of developing countries”
shall accept a series of stepped limits on CFC use and production, including: from 1991 to 1992 its levels of consumption
and production of the controlled substances in Group I of Annex A do not exceed 150 percent
of its calculated levels of production and consumption of those substances in 1986;from
1994 its calculated level of consumption and production of the controlled substances in
Group I of Annex A does not exceed, annually, twenty-five percent of its calculated level
of consumption and production in 1986.from 1996 its calculated level of consumption and
production of the controlled substances in Group I of Annex A does not exceed zero.There
was a faster phase-out of halon-1211, -2402, -1301, There was a slower phase-out (to zero
by 2010) of other substances (halon 1211, 1301, 2402; CFCs 13, 111, 112, etc.) and some
chemicals were given individual attention (Carbon tetrachloride; 1,1,1-trichloroethane).
The phasing-out of the less damaging HCFCs only began in 1996 and will go on until a
complete phasing-out is achieved by 2030. There were a few exceptions for “essential
uses” where no acceptable substitutes were initially found (for example, in the past
metered dose inhalers commonly used to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
were exempt) or Halon fire suppression systems used in submarines and aircraft (but not in
general industry). The substances in Group I of Annex A are: CFCl3 (CFC-11)
CF2Cl2 (CFC-12) C2F3Cl3 (CFC-113)
C2F4Cl2(CFC-114) C2F5Cl (CFC-115)The provisions of the Protocol
include the requirement that the Parties to the Protocol base their future decisions on
the current scientific, environmental, technical, and economic information that is assessed
through panels drawn from the worldwide expert communities. To provide that input to the
decision-making process, advances in understanding on these topics were assessed in 1989, 1991,
1994, 1998 and 2002 in a series of reports entitled Scientific assessment of ozone depletion,
by the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP).In 1990 a Technology and Economic Assessment
Panel was also established as the technology and economics advisory body to the Montreal
Protocol Parties. The Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) provides, at the request
of Parties, technical information related to the alternative technologies that have
been investigated and employed to make it possible to virtually eliminate use of Ozone
Depleting Substances (such as CFCs and Halons), that harm the ozone layer. The TEAP is also
tasked by the Parties every year to assess and evaluate various technical issues including
evaluating nominations for essential use exemptions for CFCs and halons, and nominations for critical
use exemptions for methyl bromide. TEAP’s annual reports are a basis for the Parties’
informed decision-making. Numerous reports have been published by various
inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations to catalogue and assess alternatives
to the ozone depleting substances, since the substances have been used in various technical
sectors, like in refrigeration, air conditioning, flexible and rigid foam, fire protection,
aerospace, electronics, agriculture, and laboratory measurements.===Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) Phase-out
Management Plan (HPMP)===Under the Montreal Protocol on Substances
that Deplete the Ozone Layer, especially Executive Committee (ExCom) 53/37 and ExCom 54/39, Parties
to this Protocol agreed to set year 2013 as the time to freeze the consumption and production
of HCFCs for developing countries. For developed countries, reduction of HCFC consumption and
production began in 2004 and 2010, respectively, with 100% reduction set for 2020. Developing
countries agreed to start reducing its consumption and production of HCFCs by 2015, with 100%
reduction set for 2030.Hydrochlorofluorocarbons, commonly known as HCFCs, are a group of man-made
compounds containing hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon. They are not found anywhere in
nature. HCFC production began to take off after countries agreed to phase out the use
of CFCs in the 1980s, which were found to be destroying the ozone layer. Like CFCs,
HCFCs are used for refrigeration, aerosol propellants, foam manufacture and air conditioning.
Unlike the CFCs, however, most HCFCs are broken down in the lowest part of the atmosphere
and pose a much smaller risk to the ozone layer. Nevertheless, HCFCs are very potent
greenhouse gases, despite their very low atmospheric concentrations, measured in parts per trillion
(million million). The HCFCs are transitional CFCs replacements,
used as refrigerants, solvents, blowing agents for plastic foam manufacture, and fire extinguishers.
In terms of ozone depletion potential (ODP), in comparison to CFCs that have ODP 0.6 – 1.0,
these HCFCs have lower ODPs (0.01 – 0.5). In terms of global warming potential (GWP),
in comparison to CFCs that have GWP 4,680 – 10,720, HCFCs have lower GWPs (76 – 2,270).===Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)===
On January 1, 2019 the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol came into force. Under
the Kigali Amendment countries promised to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
by more than 80% over the next 30 years. By December 27, 2018, 65 countries had ratified
the Amendment. HFCs phase down HFCs can be accomplished by redesigning more energy efficient
cooling equipment.Produced mostly in developed countries, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) replaced
CFCs and HCFCs. HFCs pose no harm to the ozone layer because, unlike CFCs and HCFCs, they
do not contain chlorine. They are, however, greenhouse gases, with a high global warming
potential (GWP), comparable to that of CFCs and HCFCs. Thus, in 2009, a study calculated
that a fast phasedown of high-GWP HFCs could potentially prevent the equivalent of up to
8.8 Gt CO2-eq per year in emissions by 2050. A proposed phasedown of HFCs was hence projected
to avoid up to 0.5C of warming by 2100 under the high-HFC growth scenario, and up to 0.35C
under the low-HFC growth scenario. Recognizing the opportunity presented for fast and effective
phasing down of HFCs through the Montreal Protocol, starting in 2009 the Federated States
of Micronesia proposed an amendment to phase down high-GWP HFCs, with the U.S., Canada,
and Mexico following with a similar proposal in 2010.After seven years of negotiations,
in October 2016 at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali,
the Parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted the Kigali Amendment whereby the Parties agreed
to phasedown HFCs under the Montreal Protocol. The amendment to the legally-binding Montreal
Protocol will ensure that industrialised countries bring down their HFC production and consumption
by at least 85 per cent compared to their annual average values in the period 2011-2013.
A group of developing countries including China, Brazil and South Africa are mandated
to reduce their HFC use by 85 per cent of their average value in 2020-22 by the year
2045. India and some other developing countries — Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and some oil economies
like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — will cut down their HFCs by 85 per cent of their values
in 2024-26 by the year 2047. On 17 November 2017, ahead of the 29th Meeting
of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol, Sweden became the 20th Party to ratify the Kigali
Amendment, pushing the Amendment over its ratification threshold ensuring that the Amendment
would enter into force 1 January 2019.==History==
In 1973, the chemists Frank Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina, who were then at the University
of California, Irvine, began studying the impacts of CFCs in the Earth’s atmosphere.
They discovered that CFC molecules were stable enough to remain in the atmosphere until they
got up into the middle of the stratosphere where they would finally (after an average
of 50–100 years for two common CFCs) be broken down by ultraviolet radiation releasing
a chlorine atom. Rowland and Molina then proposed that these chlorine atoms might be expected
to cause the breakdown of large amounts of ozone (O3) in the stratosphere. Their argument
was based upon an analogy to contemporary work by Paul J. Crutzen and Harold Johnston,
which had shown that nitric oxide (NO) could catalyze the destruction of ozone. (Several
other scientists, including Ralph Cicerone, Richard Stolarski, Michael McElroy, and Steven
Wofsy had independently proposed that chlorine could catalyze ozone loss, but none had realized
that CFCs were a potentially large source of chlorine.) Crutzen, Molina and Rowland
were awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their work on this problem.
The environmental consequence of this discovery was that, since stratospheric ozone absorbs
most of the ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation reaching the surface of the planet, depletion
of the ozone layer by CFCs would lead to an increase in UV-B radiation at the surface,
resulting in an increase in skin cancer and other impacts such as damage to crops and
to marine phytoplankton. But the Rowland-Molina hypothesis was strongly
disputed by representatives of the aerosol and halocarbon industries. The chair of the
board of DuPont was quoted as saying that ozone depletion theory is “a science fiction
tale…a load of rubbish…utter nonsense”. Robert Abplanalp, the president of Precision
Valve Corporation (and inventor of the first practical aerosol spray can valve), wrote
to the Chancellor of UC Irvine to complain about Rowland’s public statements (Roan, p.
56.) After publishing their pivotal paper in June
1974, Rowland and Molina testified at a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives
in December 1974. As a result, significant funding was made available to study various
aspects of the problem and to confirm the initial findings. In 1976, the U.S. National
Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a report that confirmed the scientific credibility
of the ozone depletion hypothesis. NAS continued to publish assessments of related science
for the next decade. Then, in 1985, British Antarctic Survey scientists
Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin published results of abnormally low ozone
concentrations above Halley Bay near the South Pole. They speculated that this was connected
to increased levels of CFCs in the atmosphere. It took several other attempts to establish
the Antarctic losses as real and significant, especially after NASA had retrieved matching
data from its satellite recordings. The impact of these studies, the metaphor ‘ozone hole’,
and the colourful visual representation in a time lapse animation proved shocking enough
for negotiators in Montreal, Canada to take the issue seriously.Also in 1985, 20 nations,
including most of the major CFC producers, signed the Vienna Convention, which established
a framework for negotiating international regulations on ozone-depleting substances.
After the discovery of the ozone hole by SAGE 2 it only took 18 months to reach
a binding agreement in Montreal, Canada. But the CFC industry did not give up that
easily. As late as 1986, the Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy (an association representing
the CFC industry founded by DuPont) was still arguing that the science was too uncertain
to justify any action. In 1987, DuPont testified before the US Congress that “We believe there
is no imminent crisis that demands unilateral regulation.” And even in March 1988, Du Pont
Chair Richard E. Heckert would write in a letter to the United States Senate, “we will
not produce a product unless it can be made, used, handled and disposed of safely and consistent
with appropriate safety, health and environmental quality criteria. At the moment, scientific
evidence does not point to the need for dramatic CFC emission reductions. There is no available
measure of the contribution of CFCs to any observed ozone change…”==
Multilateral Fund==The main objective of the Multilateral Fund
for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol is to assist developing country parties to
the Montreal Protocol whose annual per capita consumption and production of ozone depleting
substances (ODS) is less than 0.3 kg to comply with the control measures of the Protocol.
Currently, 147 of the 196 Parties to the Montreal Protocol meet these criteria (they are referred
to as Article 5 countries). It embodies the principle agreed at the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 that countries have a common but differentiated
responsibility to protect and manage the global commons.
The Fund is managed by an Executive Committee with an equal representation of seven industrialized
and seven Article 5 countries, which are elected annually by a Meeting of the Parties. The
Committee reports annually to the Meeting of the Parties on its operations. The work
of the Multilateral Fund on the ground in developing countries is carried out by four
Implementing Agencies, which have contractual agreements with the Executive Committee:
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), through its OzonAction Programme.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). United Nations Industrial Development Organization
(UNIDO). World Bank.Up to 20 percent of the contributions
of contributing parties can also be delivered through their bilateral agencies in the form
of eligible projects and activities. The fund is replenished on a three-year basis
by the donors. Pledges amount to US$3.1 billion over the period 1991 to 2005. Funds are used,
for example, to finance the conversion of existing manufacturing processes, train personnel,
pay royalties and patent rights on new technologies, and establish national ozone offices.==Parties==
As of 23 June 2015, all countries in the United Nations, the Cook Islands, Holy See, Niue
as well as the European Union have ratified the original Montreal Protocol (see external
link below), with South Sudan being the last country to ratify the agreement, bringing
the total to 197. These countries have also ratified the London, Copenhagen, Montreal,
and Beijing amendments.==Effect==Since the Montreal Protocol came into effect,
the atmospheric concentrations of the most important chlorofluorocarbons and related
chlorinated hydrocarbons have either leveled off or decreased. Halon concentrations have
continued to increase, as the halons presently stored in fire extinguishers are released,
but their rate of increase has slowed and their abundances are expected to begin to
decline by about 2020. Also, the concentration of the HCFCs increased drastically at least
partly because of many uses (e.g. used as solvents or refrigerating agents) CFCs were
substituted with HCFCs. While there have been reports of attempts by individuals to circumvent
the ban, e.g. by smuggling CFCs from undeveloped to developed nations, the overall level of
compliance has been high. Statistical analysis from 2010 show a clear positive signal from
the Montreal Protocol to the stratospheric ozone. In consequence, the Montreal Protocol
has often been called the most successful international environmental agreement to date.
In a 2001 report, NASA found the ozone thinning over Antarctica had remained the same thickness
for the previous three years, however in 2003 the ozone hole grew to its second largest
size. The most recent (2006) scientific evaluation of the effects of the Montreal Protocol states,
“The Montreal Protocol is working: There is clear evidence of a decrease in the atmospheric
burden of ozone-depleting substances and some early signs of stratospheric ozone recovery.”
However, a more recent study seems to point to a relative increase in CFCs due to an unknown
source.Reported in 1997, significant production of CFCs occurred in Russia for sale on the
black market to the EU throughout the 90s. Related US production and consumption was
enabled by fraudulent reporting due to poor enforcement mechanisms. Similar illegal markets
for CFCs were detected in Taiwan, Korea, and Hong Kong.The Montreal Protocol is also expected
to have effects on human health. A 2015 report by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
estimates that the protection of the ozone layer under the treaty will prevent over 280
million cases of skin cancer, 1.5 million skin cancer deaths, and 45 million cataracts
in the United States.However, the hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs, and hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs,
are now thought to contribute to anthropogenic global warming. On a molecule-for-molecule
basis, these compounds are up to 10,000 times more potent greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide.
The Montreal Protocol currently calls for a complete phase-out of HCFCs by 2030, but
does not place any restriction on HFCs. Since the CFCs themselves are equally powerful greenhouse
gases, the mere substitution of HFCs for CFCs does not significantly increase the rate of
anthropogenic climate change, but over time a steady increase in their use could increase
the danger that human activity will change the climate.Policy experts have advocated
for increased efforts to link ozone protection efforts to climate protection efforts. Policy
decisions in one arena affect the costs and effectiveness of environmental improvements
in the other.===Regional detections of non-compliance
===In 2018, scientists monitoring the atmosphere
following the 2010 phaseout date have reported evidence of continuing industrial production
of CFC-11, likely in eastern Asia, with detrimental global effects on the ozone layer. A monitoring
study detected fresh atmospheric releases of carbon tetrachloride from China’s Shandong
province, beginning sometime after 2012, and accounting for a large part of emissions exceeding
global estimates under the Montreal Protocol.==25th anniversary celebrations==
The year 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol. Accordingly,
the Montreal Protocol community organized a range of celebrations at the national, regional
and international levels to publicize its considerable success to date and to consider
the work ahead for the future. Among its accomplishments are: The Montreal
Protocol was the first international treaty to address a global environmental regulatory
challenge; the first to embrace the “precautionary principle” in its design for science-based
policymaking; the first treaty where independent experts on atmospheric science, environmental
impacts, chemical technology, and economics, reported directly to Parties, without edit
or censorship, functioning under norms of professionalism, peer review, and respect;
the first to provide for national differences in responsibility and financial capacity to
respond by establishing a multilateral fund for technology transfer; the first MEA with
stringent reporting, trade, and binding chemical phase-out obligations for both developed and
developing countries; and, the first treaty with a financial mechanism managed democratically
by an Executive Board with equal representation by developed and developing countries.Within
25 years of signing, parties to the MP celebrate significant milestones. Significantly, the
world has phased-out 98% of the Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) contained in nearly 100 hazardous
chemicals worldwide; every country is in compliance with stringent obligations; and, the MP has
achieved the status of the first global regime with universal ratification; even the newest
member state, South Sudan, ratified in 2013. UNEP received accolades for achieving global
consensus that “demonstrates the world’s commitment to ozone protection, and more broadly,
to global environmental protection”.==Notes====See also==
Action for Climate Empowerment Carbon footprint
Copenhagen Accord Net capacity factor
Paris Agreement R-134a
Vienna Conference (1985

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