Jump to main content.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

Figure 1: Antarctic Ozone Hole

NASA's Ozone Hole Watch

Source: NASA’s Ozone Hole Watch Web Site, Sept. 24, 2006

The high-altitude, or stratospheric ozone layer of the air acts like a shield in the atmosphere that protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. During the 1980s, scientists observed that the stratospheric ozone layer was getting thinner.

Today, all UN recognized nations have ratified the treaty and continue to phase out the production of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer while searching for ozone-friendly alternatives. Over the past 20 years, EPA is proud to have been part of a broad coalition that developed and implemented flexible, innovative, and effective approaches to ensure stratospheric ozone layer protection. Read more in the 2007 progress report.

In 1995, the United Nations named September 16 the International Day for the Protection of the Ozone Layer Exit EPA Disclaimer. To celebrate the success of the last 20 years, countries gathered in Montreal, Canada, from September 16-21, 2007, to recognize the broad coalition of governments, scientific researchers, and others who have developed smart, flexible, and innovative approaches to protecting human health and the global environment. Read more about the recent international developments in saving the ozone layer.

Basic Information

The links below provide additional information about international environmental treaties and ozone layer protection. Each of the links below is to a site outside the EPA domain. Exit EPA Disclaimer

International Treaties

The Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer
Signed in 1985, this treaty is the precursor to the Montreal Protocol.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
Adopted on September 16, 1987 and amended four times, this treaty is the basis on which Title VI of the Clean Air Act was established. More information on the Montreal Protocol’s history, its amendments, and adjustments is found here or by following these links:

International Organizations

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat
The Ozone Secretariat coordinates implementation of and meetings under the Montreal Protocol.
UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics OzonAction Programme provides industry, government and other stakeholders in developing countries with information exchange services (including this web site), training and Networking of ODS Officers. In addition to these core clearinghouse services, the Programme also provides assistance with Country Programmes and Institutional Strengthening projects.
Assessment Panels
The Assessment Panels, which are organized under UNEP and are advisory bodies to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, are responsible for issuing regular reports on progress on implementing the phaseout of ozone-depleting substances, including assessments of alternatives and emissions reduction. It includes seven committees, some of which have their own sites linked from the home page.

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.