The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is considered one of the most successful environmental treaty in the world. Focused on the issue of environment protection, it sets out a mandatory timetable for the phase out of ozone depleting substances.

Introduction to The Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, also known as the Montreal Protocol is an international agreement made in 1987. It was designed or formulated to stop the production and use of ozone depleting substances along with reducing their concentration in the atmosphere to help protect the earth’s ozone layer.

The Montreal Protocol sits under the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (the Vienna Convention). After the international discussion of scientific discoveries in the 1980s highlighted the adverse effect of human activity on the ozone layer and the discovery of the Ozone Hole, The Vienna Convention was adopted in 1985. Its objectives are to promote cooperation on the adverse effects of human activities on the ozone layer.

The Vienna Convention & Amendments

Adopted in 1985, The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is the precursor to the Montreal Protocol. It is often called a framework convention as it acts as a framework for efforts to protect the globe’s ozone layer. In accordance with the provisions of the Convention, the countries of the world agreed with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer under the Convention, to advance that goal.

  • The London Amendment (1990)
  • The Copenhagen Amendment (1992)
  • The Montreal Amendment (1997)
  • The Beijing Amendment (1999)
  • The Kigali Amendment (2016)

Efforts Behind The Montreal Protocol

Under the Protocol, nations phased out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – a class of compounds that were used in aerosol sprays, refrigerants, foams and solvents. These are the elements that are damaging the protective ozone layer which shields the planet from the harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Because ozone-depleting substances and some of their substitutes are also potent greenhouse gases, their phase-out under the Montreal Protocol is critical to the international efforts made to address climate change.