Foreword

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UNEP Executive Director ImageIn September 1987, representatives of just forty-six countries gathered in Montreal to agree the text of the first international agreement to apply limits to the production and consumption of the main chemicals causing the destruction of the Earths protective ozone layer. Today, we can appreciate just how solid were the foundations laid then by those far-sighted men and women. Since the Protocols entry into force in 1989, its Parties have continued to adapt the regime it established in response to scientific evidence and technological developments, with the Protocol being adjusted on six occasions and amended on four. The regime it has established can lay claim to major achievements:

Universal participation by all States and one regional economic integration organization – the first multilateral environmental agreement ever to attain truly global participation.

The production and consumption of the majority of harmful ozone-depleting chemicals has been successfully phased out, in both developed and developing countries. Over 98 per cent of the consumption of all ozone-depleting substances has now been phased out.

Since its inception in 1991, the Multilateral Fund has approved activities, including industrial conversion, technical assistance, training and capacity-building, worth over US $3.1 billion as of 2014.

And the Protocol is also one of the prime global contributors to the fight against climate change, as most of the ozone-depleting substances it has phased out are also powerful greenhouse gases.

This is an inspiring record, demonstrating emphatically the potential for success of global cooperation in tackling a common threat.

Since 1991 the publication of the Handbook for the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer has proved to be an invaluable reference source for the decisions which the Parties have made in the process of developing the ozone regime. It includes the single text of the Protocol, as adjusted and amended, together with all the decisions of the Meeting of the Parties that have taken place since 1989, plus supporting information.

Over the years the Handbook, which is now regularly updated online, has proved to be the essential reference book for the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. It is my hope that this latest edition of the Handbook, which I commend to readers, will prove just as useful as a repository of information on the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

Achim Steiner
Executive Director
United Nations Environment Programme



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