The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international agreement designed to protect the Earth’s fragile ozone layer by reducing the production and consumption of products that were responsible for its depletion. These products are known as ozone depleting substances (ODS).
The original Montreal Protocol was agreed upon on September 16th 1987. It was put into force on January 1st 1989 and has since gone through eight revisions (amendments and adjustments). What’s more, the Montreal Protocol is the first international environmental agreement to achieve endorsement from every country in the world. Thanks to the success of Protocol, the hole in the ozone layer is closing.
The Montreal Protocol includes a unique adjustment provision that enables the parties to the Protocol to act quickly to new scientific information and agree to accelerate the reductions required on chemicals already covered by the Protocol. These adjustments are then automatically applicable to all countries that endorse the Protocol.
The parties to the Montreal Protocol have amended the Protocol to control new chemicals and create means to provide funding to developing countries so they can comply with the Protocol. The parties to the Protocol meet annually to make a variety of decisions aimed at ensuring that implementation of this legal agreement is continued and effective.