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Major International Protocols:

Earth Summit, Kyoto Protocol


and Montreal Protocol
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Three major international protocols are as follows :


Earth summit:
The issues addressed in Earth Summit are:
i. Systematic scrutiny of patterns of production particularly the production of
toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including
radioactive chemicals

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ii. Alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are
linked to global climate change

iii. New reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle


emissions, congestion in cities and the health problems caused by polluted
air and smog

iv. The growing scarcity of water

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The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature at the


Earth Summit, and made a start towards redefinition of money supply
measures that did not inherently encourage destruction of natural Eco
regions and so-called uneconomic growth.

The Earth Summit resulted in the following documents:


a. Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

b. Agenda

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c. Convention on Biological Diversity

d. Forest Principles

e. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Both Convention on Biological Diversity and Framework Convention on


Climate Change were set as legally binding agreements.

Kyoto Protocol:
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting
global warming. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with
the goal of achieving stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the
atmosphere at a level that would minimize dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system.

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Under the Protocol, 37 industrialized countries called as Annex 1 countries,


commit themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) namely
carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride and two
groups of gases like hydro fluorocarbons and per fluorocarbons produced
by them, and all member countries give general commitments.

Annex I countries agreed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas


emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 level. Emission limits do not include
emissions by international aviation and shipping, but are in addition to the
industrial gases, chlorofluorocarbons, or (CFCs), which are dealt with under
the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The Protocol allows for several flexible mechanisms, such as emissions


trading, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and joint
implementation to allow Annex I countries to meet their GHG emission
limitations by purchasing GHG emission reductions credits from elsewhere,
through financial exchanges, projects that reduce emissions in non-Annex I
countries, from other Annex I countries, or from annex I countries with
excess allowances. Kyoto is intended to cut global emissions of
greenhouse gases.

The objective is the stabilization and reconstruction of greenhouse gas


concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous
anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The objective of the
Kyoto climate change conference was to establish a legally binding
international agreement, whereby all the participating nations commit
themselves to tackling the issue of global warming and greenhouse gas
emissions.

The target agreed upon was an average reduction of 5.2% from 1990
levels by the year 2012. Contrary to popular belief, the Protocol will not
expire in 2012. In 2012, Annex I countries must have fulfilled their
obligations of reduction of greenhouse gases emissions established for the
first commitment period (2008-2012).

The five principal concepts of the Kyoto Protocol are:


i. Commitments to reduce greenhouse gases that are legally binding for
annex I countries, as well as general commitments for all member
countries.

ii. Implementation to meet the Protocol objectives, to prepare policies and


measures which reduce greenhouse gases, increasing absorption of these
gases (for example through geo-sequestration and bio-sequestration) and
use all mechanisms available, such as joint implementation, clean
development mechanism and emissions trading; being rewarded with
credits which allow more greenhouse gas emissions at home.

iii. Minimizing impacts on developing countries by establishing an


adaptation fund for climate change.

iv. Accounting, reporting and review to ensure the integrity of the Protocol.

v. Compliance by establishing a compliance committee to enforce


commitment to the Protocol.

Montreal Protocol:
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, a
protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is
an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out
the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for
ozone depletion.

The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987, and entered
into force on January 1, 1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May
1989. Since then, it has undergone seven revisions, in 1990 (London),
1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997
(Montreal) and 1999 (Beijing).

It is believed that if the international agreement is adhered to, the ozone


layer is expected to recover by 2050. Due to its widespread adoption and
implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional
international co-operation with Kofi Annan quoted as saying that “perhaps
the single most successful international agreement to date has been the
Montreal Protocol”. It has been ratified by 196 states.

Earth
Montreal Protocol
INTERNATIONAL TREATY

DATE

 September 16, 1987

LOCATION

 Canada
 Montreal
 Quebec
TOPIC

 ozone layer
Montreal Protocol, formally Montreal Protocol on Substances That
Deplete the Ozone Layer, international treaty, adopted in Montreal on
Sept. 16, 1987, that aimed to regulate the production and use of chemicals
that contribute to the depletion of Earth’s ozone layer. Initially signed by 46
countries, the treaty now has nearly 200 signatories.
In the early 1970s, American chemists F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario
Molina theorized that chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) compounds combine
with solar radiation and decompose in the stratosphere, releasing atoms
of chlorine and chlorine monoxide that are individually able to destroy large
numbers of ozone molecules. (Along with Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen,
Rowland and Molina were awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for
this work.) Their research, first published in the journal Nature in 1974,
initiated a federal investigation of the problem in the United States, and
the National Academy of Sciences concurred with their findings in 1976. In
1978 CFC-based aerosols were banned in the United States, Norway,
Sweden, and Canada.
Further validation of their work came in 1985 with the discovery of a “hole”
in the ozone shield over Antarctica by the British Antarctic Survey and the
publication of its findings in Nature. Shortly before these findings were to
appear, representatives from 28 countries met to discuss the issue at
the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. The meeting
called for international cooperation in research involving ozone-depleting
chemicals (ODCs) and empowered the United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) to lay the groundwork for the Montreal Protocol.
The initial agreement was designed to reduce the production
and consumption of several types of CFCs and halons to 80 percent of
1986 levels by 1994 and 50 percent of 1986 levels by 1999. The protocol
went into effect on Jan. 1, 1989. Since then the agreement has
been amended to further reduce and completely phase out CFCs and
halons, as well as the manufacture and use of carbon
tetrachloride, trichloroethane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),
hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrobromofluorocarbons
(HBFCs), methyl bromide, and other ODCs. Several subsequent meetings
of the signing countries were convened to track overall progress toward this
goal and to authorize new changes to the process of phasing out ODCs.
SIMILAR TOPICS

 Kyoto Protocol
 Louisiana Purchase
 Warsaw Pact
 Geneva Conventions
 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
 Gadsden Purchase
 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
 Lisbon Treaty
 Treaty of Tordesillas
 Good Friday Agreement
It is important to note that ODC phase-out schedules differ between
developed and developing countries. The period for developing countries to
come into compliance is slightly longer, owing to the fact that they have
fewer technical and financial resources to introduce substitutes. In
developed countries the production and consumption of halons formally
ended by 1994, several other chemicals (such as CFCs, HBFCs, carbon
tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform) were phased out by 1996, methyl
bromide was eliminated in 2005, and HCFCs are scheduled to be
completely phased out by 2030. In contrast, developing countries phased
out CFCs, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, and halons by 2010;
they are scheduled to phase out methyl bromide by 2015 and eliminate
HCFCs by 2040.
The Antarctic ozone hole grew in size throughout the 1990s and the first
decade of the 21st century. The ozone layer over the Arctic also thinned,
although not as pronouncedly as over the Antarctic. Despite these findings,
most scientists contend that the ozone layer will eventually recover. They
note that the success of the treaty is exclusively responsible for the
substantial decrease of ODCs available for release into the atmosphere.
Signs of recovery might not become apparent until about 2020, however,
because of natural variability. According to the World Meteorological
Organization and the UNEP, the full recovery of the ozone layer is not
expected until at least 2049 over middle latitudes and 2065 over Antarctica.