July 11, 2022

What is the Montreal Protocol?

The Montreal Protocol has been protecting the planet from industries harmful chemicals depletion of the ozone layer and global warming. 

Montreal made a treaty in 1987 where all countries of the UN signed. A total of 198 countries agreed that human activity had actively contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer by over abusing the usage ozone depletion substances (ODS), which lead to an ozone hole in the the antarctic and arctic regions. (North/south pole) 



The ozone layer is important for life on earth in a stratospheric level. It blocks the UV radiation from reaching the surface of the earth. UV radiation can cause- Skin Cancer, damage skin cells, affects our eyes with cataracts, it can lead to DNA changes in cell structures, affecting humans, animals and plants alike. It would lead to an environmental unbalance with devastating results, like extinction of numerous species, dry soil’s and rivers, enhance natural disasters and extreme high temperatures. Symptoms we are already facing today.


ODS – Ozone Depletion Substances are:

  • CFC’s – chlorofluorocarbons
  • HCFC’s – hydrochlorofluorocarbons
  • Halones


Commonly used in AC, Refrigeration, Foam based industries and pressurized cans.


Greenhouse Gases

The Montreal agreement targets 96 different ozone depositions, and has been installed in 240 industrial sectors, finding other chemicals and solutions that doesn’t deplete the ozone layer.HFC was a common substance that substituted HCFC’s, however it was soon realized that it is a potent greenhouse gás. – 12-14k more capacity to capture heat in the atmosphere then carbon. 

The prohibition of greenhouse gases was included in the protocol in the 2016 Kigali amendment.



The protocol is structured through a multilateral Fund and installed in phases, as such: 


  • Developed countries should be completely phased out by 2020
  • Developing countries should be completely phased out by 2022


  • Developed countries (eg: EU, USA) begins phase out in 2019, reach 85% diminishment by 2034 
  • Developing countries (eg: Brazil, China) begins phase out in 2024, reach 85% diminishment by 2043 
  • Other developing countries (eg: India, Iran) begins phase out in 2028, reach 85% diminishment by 2045 


A NOAA ozonezonde, an instrument used to help scientists monitor the Antarctic ozone hole, ascends over the South Pole in a time-lapse photo taken Oct. 21, 2020. Researchers have tracked ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere using satellites, planes, ships, balloons, and ground stations for decades — without that scientific effort the expanding ozone hole might never have been detected. Image by Yuya Makino/IceCube.