Countries Pledge $490 M in Fight to Protect Ozone Layer
The United States made further progress protecting the ozone layer through successful agreements at the 20th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol in Doha, Qatar. Developed and developing countries agreed to add $490 million to the Montreal Protocol's Multilateral Fund for the next three years. This will help phase out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and replacement hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and help demonstrate the environmental benefits achieved by destroying banks of unnecessary CFCs.
According to a Dec. 3 press release, parties to the protocol also authorized 94 percent of the United States' 2010 request to use methyl bromide (an agricultural fumigant), and 100 percent of the request for CFCs used in metered-dose inhalers to treat asthma. Recognizing the importance of protecting the climate during the transition from HCFCs to more ozone-friendly alternatives, the parties agreed to a U.S. recommendation to include a climate workshop during the next working meeting of the protocol in July 2009.
One hundred ninety-three countries are parties to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. Signed in 1987, this successful treaty is helping to heal the ozone layer by ending the production of ozone-depleting substances.
For more information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's involvement in the Montreal Protocol, visit http://www.epa.gov/ozone/strathome.html.