The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
Figure 1: Antarctic Ozone Hole
Source: NASA’s Ozone Hole Watch Web Site, Sept. 24, 2006
The high-altitude, or stratospheric ozone layer of the air acts like a shield in the atmosphere that protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. During the 1980s, scientists observed that the stratospheric ozone layer was getting thinner.
Today, all UN recognized nations have ratified the treaty and continue to phase out the production of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer while searching for ozone-friendly alternatives. Over the past 20 years, EPA is proud to have been part of a broad coalition that developed and implemented flexible, innovative, and effective approaches to ensure stratospheric ozone layer protection. Read more in the 2007 progress report.
In 1995, the United Nations named September 16 the International Day for the Protection of the Ozone Layer . To celebrate the success of the last 20 years, countries gathered in Montreal, Canada, from September 16-21, 2007, to recognize the broad coalition of governments, scientific researchers, and others who have developed smart, flexible, and innovative approaches to protecting human health and the global environment. Read more about the recent international developments in saving the ozone layer.
- EPA’s Achievements in Stratospheric Ozone Protection Progress Report – A report on the important achievements of the people, programs, and organizations that are working to protect the Earth’s ozone layer.
- Background Information (PDF, 5 pp., 127 kb) - A brief background article on the 20th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
- Regulatory Summary (PDF, 2 pp., 51 kb) - A brief, bulleted summary of regulations summarizing EPA's response to the Montreal Protocol.
- Questions and Answers (PDF, 7 pp., 62 kb) Some frequently asked questions and answers about ozone protection and the Montreal Protocol.
- General Fact Sheet (PDF, 1 page, 50 kb) - A one-pager on the background, current issues and future of ozone protection
- EPA History Office's Montreal Protocol Site
- A compilation of articles reflecting on 25th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (PDF, 24 pp, 1,424 kb)
- The Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer
- Signed in 1985, this treaty is the precursor to the Montreal Protocol.
- The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
- Adopted on September 16, 1987 and amended four times, this treaty is the basis on which Title VI of the Clean Air Act was established. More information on the Montreal Protocol’s history, its amendments, and adjustments is found here or by following these links:
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat
- The Ozone Secretariat coordinates implementation of and meetings under the Montreal Protocol.
- UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics OzonAction Programme provides industry, government and other stakeholders in developing countries with information exchange services (including this web site), training and Networking of ODS Officers. In addition to these core clearinghouse services, the Programme also provides assistance with Country Programmes and Institutional Strengthening projects.
- Assessment Panels
- The Assessment Panels, which are organized under UNEP and are advisory bodies to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, are responsible for issuing regular reports on progress on implementing the phaseout of ozone-depleting substances, including assessments of alternatives and emissions reduction. It includes seven committees, some of which have their own sites linked from the home page.