Working collaboratively with governments and industry, Refrigerants Australia initiatives can claim credit for having reversed the attack on the ozone layer, to the degree that the ozone hole over Australia and the Antarctic is on the mend and expects to be healed by 2050.
Emissions of ozone depleting substances have dropped by 90% since 1988. (Measured at the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station)
Monreal Protocol – ozone and climate benefits
Internationally, the Montreal Protocol is considered to be the most successful environment protection agreement ever reached.
The Protocol sets out a mandatory timetable for the phase-out of ozone depleting substances. This timetable has been reviewed regularly, with phase-out dates accelerated in accordance with scientific understanding and technological advances.
The Montreal Protocol sets binding progressive phase-out obligations for developed and developing countries for all the major ozone depleting substances, including CFCs, halons and less damaging transitional chemicals such as HCFCs.
The Multilateral Fund, the first financial mechanism to be created under an international treaty, was established under the Protocol in 1990 to provide financial assistance to developing countries to help them achieve their phase-out obligations.
The Montreal Protocol targets 96 chemicals in thousands of applications across more than 240 industrial sectors. The Multilateral Fund has provided more than US $2.5 billion in financial assistance to developing countries to phase-out production and consumption of ozone depleting substances since the Protocol’s inception in 1987.
The Protocol has been further strengthened through six amendments — London 1990, Copenhagen 1992, Vienna 1995, Montreal 1997, Beijing 1999 and Kigali (2016) — which have brought forward phase-out schedules and added new ozone depleting substances to the list of substances controlled under the Montreal Protocol.
The Montreal Protocol has also produced other significant environmental benefits. Most notably, the phase-out of ozone depleting substances is responsible for delaying climate forcing by up to 12 years.
Damage to the Earth’s protective ozone layer has sparked unprecedented worldwide concern and action. Since it was agreed internationally in 1987 to phase-out ozone depleting substances (also known as ODS), 196 countries have ratified the Montreal Protocol. In September 2009, East Timor ratified the Montreal Protocol, making it the first international environmental treaty to achieve complete ratification — a truly remarkable effort that reflects the universal acceptance and success of the agreement.
For HFCs and other greenhouse gases other than CFCs and HCFCs, the international climate change agreements also apply. The Paris Agreements from 2015 commits Australia to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% from 2005 levels, by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050.
The Monreal Protocol was 30 years old in September 2017
The largest ever hole in the ozone layer in 2000