The Montreal Protocol - 25 years of ozone protection
About the anniversary
The 16 September this year marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which is on track to restore the ozone layer to 1980 levels by mid century.
Without coordinated international action, the earth’s protective layer of ozone would almost certainly have been severely damaged by the chemicals responsible for depleting the ozone layer. Twenty five years on, concentrations of chlorine and bromine in the atmosphere (which destroy ozone) have peaked and are now reducing.
A Silver Lining – a lecture celebrating 25 years of the Montreal Protocol
To celebrate 25 years of the Montreal Protocol, a public lecture on the success and the benefits of the Montreal Protocol was held at the Australian Academy of Science Shine Dome in Canberra on 13 September 2012.
As part of its celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the department has prepared a booklet which provides background on the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol and Australia’s approach, and a postcard to help spread the good news about the Montreal Protocol.
The world's most successful environmental agreement
The key to this success is the Montreal Protocol - widely acknowledged as the world’s most successful environmental agreement. The Montreal Protocol is the only treaty with universal ratification – all 197 member countries of the United Nations have now accepted legally binding obligations to phase out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances.
Central to the Montreal Protocol’s success is its achievement in stimulating behavioural change. Although governments laid down the legal framework for action, the readiness by industry all over the world and in different sectors to transition to alternatives, combined with consumers’ willingness to switch from ozone-depleting products such as hair sprays and cleaning agents to more environmentally-friendly products, are both key success factors.
The Australian Government ratified the Montreal Protocol in 1989 and five subsequent amendments. The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 is the foundation of Australia’s commitment to the Montreal Protocol. Taking action to help protect our outdoor lifestyle was in our national interest. Since ratifying the Montreal Protocol, Australia has met or exceeded all of its phase out obligations. In accelerating its phase out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), Australia will use 60 per cent less HCFCs than permitted under the Montreal Protocol.
The 25th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol in September this year is a reminder to us and the global community of what can be achieved when we work together to protect the planet.