Montreal Protocol – Provisions, Ozone Protocol, Montreal Protocol 1987

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Montreal Protocol is an essential Multilateral agreement that is introduced concerning the Depleting ozone layer. There are many man-made substances and chemicals that are known as ozone-depleting substances (ODS). The Montreal Protocol agreement regulates the production, consumption, and emission of such substances that are responsible for ozone depletion in the stratosphere.

Initially, the agreement was called the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer. Over the years, the Montreal Protocol has demonstrated its effectiveness in safeguarding the ozone layer, preventing detrimental consequences such as increased ultraviolet radiation and associated health risks.

What is Montreal Protocol?

As per Montreal Protocol, developed and developing countries must have different timetables for the consumption and production of the different ozone-depleting substances in a stepwise manner. Ozone is the protective layer in the earth’s atmosphere that acts as a blanket against harmful chemical substances.

Montreal Protocol Notes

Not only this but the Ozone layer is known to protect against skin cancer. However, during the 1970s, scientists proved that the substances being used in refrigerators, conditioners, foam blowing, solvents, and aerosol cans are a leading cause that is responsible for the pertaining ozone depletion.

  • Later, a huge hole was discovered in the Ozone layer over the Antarctica region, and that became a major concern for the United Nations as it allowed the UV rays to seep into the earth’s surface.
  • The UN members understood the urgency of coming up with a solution to curb the damage to the Ozone layer by signing the Vienna Convention which is an environmental convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.
  • As per the convention provision, all the countries adopted the Montréal Protocol to fulfill the goals of the Vienna convention in 1987.

Montreal Protocol Highlights

The hole in the ozone layer of the stratosphere over the Antarctic region became a matter of concern for the UN as a result of which the Montreal Protocol was signed by all the members. Here are the highlights of the Protocol:

Highlights Details
Reason phase down the use of harmful Ozone-depleting substances
Montreal Protocol was Signed in Sept 1987 but came into force in 1989
Signatories 46
Languages Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Spanish, and Spanish.
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations
Countries Involved in Montreal Protocol 197 Countries (all UN countries and EU)
Amendments 9
Ozone Secretariat Situated in Nairobi at the UNEP headquarters.
Montreal Protocol Multilateral Fund Setup in 1991

Montreal Protocol Insights

It l is an essential international protocol that is concerned with serious issues of Ozone depletion. Montreal Protocol was the first international Protocol of its kind, which aims to minimize the dependency on HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) and the potent greenhouse responsible for Ozone layer depletion. The following are the key points of the Montreal Protocol:

  • It is a time-bound process that is subjected to phase down the use of harmful Ozone-depleting substances in different timetables by developed and developing countries.
  • There is a specific responsibility of all the member parties to control the ODS trade, phase out the groups of ODS, report annual data, and control the import and export of the depletion.
  • Though Developed and developing countries are equal contributors, they have differentiated responsibilities. Under the Montreal Protocol, developing countries were not bound to cut down ODs if they had a high domestic need.
  • Both groups have to work within their respective time limits to make the Protocol effective.
  • The developing countries have also given technical assistance as per the suggestion by the UN. The technical advisory on alternative technologies was provided by the technology and economic assessment panel, formed in 1990.
  • The Montreal Protocol can be amended or adjusted as per the economy, technological advancements, and the use of scientific methods. By far Montreal Protocol has undergone nine revisions or amendments.
  • The Protocol is governed by the Meeting of the parties. These parties are aided by the Ozone Secretariat. The Ozone Secretariat is based in Nairobi at the UNEP headquarters.
  • Montreal Protocol is the first-ever international treaty that is ratified by 197 parties, including 196 member states of the UN plus the EU, which is every country in the world.
  • In order to help the developing countries with the provision of the Protocol, the Multilateral fund was established in 1991. UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP, and the Work bank were responsible for implementing the Fund activities. It assisted the developing countries that have a per capita ODS consumption of less than 0.3 kg.

Substances Controlled Under Montreal Protocol

The Ozone-depleting substances regulated by the Montreal Protocol are

  • Annex A: CFCs, halons
  • Annex B: other fully halogenated CFCs, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform
  • Annex C: HCFCs
  • Annex E: Methyl bromide
  • Annex F: HFCs

Provisions of Montreal Protocol

By outlining a comprehensive set of provisions, the Montreal Protocol sets forth a robust framework for the phased elimination of ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).  The provisions of the Protocol are related to a few articles and these are-

  • Article 2: Control measures
  • Article 3: Calculation of control levels
  • Article 4: Control of trade with non-Parties
  • Article 5: Special situation of developing countries
  • Article 7: Reporting of data
  • Article 8: Non-compliance
  • Article 10: Technical assistance.

Amendments of the Montreal Protocol

The Protocol has undergone 9 revisions or amendments. The major amendments of the Montreal Protocol among them have been discussed below:

  • The London Amendment (1990)– The 2nd meeting of the Parties agreed to introduce the London Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on 27-29 June 1990 in London.
  • The Copenhagen Amendment (1992)– The 4th meeting of the Parties agreed to introduce the Copenhagen Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on 23-25 November 1992 in Copenhagen.
  • The Montreal Amendment (1997)– The 9th meeting of the Parties agreed to introduce the Montreal Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on 15-16 September 1997 in Montreal.
  • The Beijing Amendment(1999)- The 11th meeting of the Parties agreed to introduce the Beijing Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on 29 November-3 December 1999 in Beijing.
  • The Kigali Amendment (2016)-The second meeting of the Parties agreed to introduce the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on 10-15 October 1990 in Kigali.

Montreal Protocol (Kigali Amendment)

The Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol aims to cut the production and consumption of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) for the phase-down of hydrocarbons. This Kigali Agreement was adopted by all the countries on 15 October 2016. However, came into force on January 1, 2019.

  • HFCs have no impact on the depletion of the Ozone layer. That is why it initially replaced the combination of chlorofluorocarbons and HCFCs in foam insulation, conditioning, and refrigeration. However, they are powerful greenhouse gases.
  • So, Montreal Protocol aims to achieve an 80% reduction in HFC consumption by 2047. The Kigali amendment became an important tool against global warming that provides finance to certain countries that are opting for climate change alternatives.

India and Montreal Protocol

Though the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, India became a signatory in 1992. India’s call over this Protocol can be summed up as

  • India comes under Article 5 country and has assistance from the Multilateral Fund.
  • It can use the Fund during its phase-out ODs.
  • India utilizes 20 ODS, and 7 are manufactured by it as per the Protocol.
  • The implementation of the Montreal Protocol in India comes within the ambit of the Ministry of Climate Change, Forest and Environment. Also, the Ministry has established the Ozone Cell for the implementation of the Protocol.
  • The Ministry has also regulated the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000. As per these rules, there is a prohibition on to use of CFCs in manufacturing the products. It also provides mandatory restrictions to the producers, sellers, stockists, and importers of ODS.

Success of the Montreal Protocol

This Protocol has proved to be a great success in improving the condition of the black hole. As per the UN study of Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018, the ozone layer is recovering at a rate of 1-3% per decade. Also, with the help of the Montreal Protocol:

  • The hole in the Ozone over the Antarctic region is expected to close gradually to the 1980s level in the 2060s.
  • The Ozone in the Northern Hemisphere and Mid-latitude will be healed completely by the 2030s.
  • The Polar and the southern hemisphere Ozone will be healed by the 2060s.

Montreal Protocol UPSC

Montreal Protocol is an essential topic for the IAS Exam and falls under the static part of the UPSC Syllabus. A lot of questions have been asked from Montreal Protocol in both UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains exams. To ensure that you study this Protocol in a detailed manner, follow the NCERT Books for UPSC and the right UPSC Books. Along with this, you can also get help from the UPSC Study Material.

Montreal Protocol MCQs

Question: The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty related to: a) Climate change b) Biodiversity conservation c) Ozone layer protection d) Sustainable development

Answer: c) Ozone layer protection

Question: The Montreal Protocol was adopted in which year? a) 1987 b) 1992 c) 1997 d) 2005

Answer: a) 1987

Question: The primary objective of the Montreal Protocol is to: a) Reduce greenhouse gas emissions b) Regulate chemical waste disposal c) Phase out ozone-depleting substances d) Promote renewable energy sources

Answer: c) Phase out ozone-depleting substances

Question: The Kigali Amendment, associated with the Montreal Protocol, aims to address the reduction of which substances? a) Ozone-depleting substances b) Greenhouse gases c) Toxic industrial pollutants d) Airborne particulate matter

Answer: b) Greenhouse gases

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