Unfinished Business

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is generally acknowledged as the most successful international environmental treaty and an outstanding model of international cooperation. It has successfully reduced much of the world’s reliance on ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and adherence to its phase-out schedule should eventually see the full recovery of the fragile ozone layer.

Yet the present state of the ozone layer gives cause for concern and has dire implications for ecosystems and human health. Every year the ozone hold over Antarctica grows bigger, and a similar hole is predicted to develop over the northern Hemisphere during the next twenty years.

Initial predictions for full recovery by 2050 now seem optimistic, and the Montreal Protocol process continues to be undermined by the illegal trade in ODS. EIA has been tracking the black market in chlorofluorocarbons and halons since the mid- 1990s and has presented detailed information on the main routes, smuggling methods and companies involved to the Parties to the Montreal Protocol and to enforcement agencies in many countries.

Read the report.