Montreal Protocol celebrates 20th anniversary

The Montreal Protocol defines goals for each country to step up its green initiatives. Nearly 200 countries have pledged to phase out ozone-depleting compounds.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff September 18, 2007

Sept. 16 marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol , the landmark international treaty that requires countries to phase out production and use of compounds that deplete the ozone in the stratosphere. Initially signed by 24 countries, 191 countries are members today.

Each of the countries that signed the Protocol has measurable goals and actions for achieving success. These include phasing out production and use of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform. Scientific evidence demonstrates that these compounds significantly deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, which shields the planet from damaging UV radiation.

The United States has implemented key parts of the Montreal Protocol more rapidly and at significantly less cost than originally anticipated. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also has approved more than 300 alternatives to ozone-depleting substances for industrial, commercial, and consumer uses. Many of these new technologies also save energy and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

“Twenty years ago, the community of nations came together to adopt a global strategy for the global challenge of ozone depletion. Today, we at EPA join our international partners in celebrating the anniversary of the Montreal Protocol—a shining example of how human ingenuity, leadership, and determination can create a healthier, better world,” said EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson.