The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) is a 1987 international agreement. It is designed to stop the production and import of ozone-depleting substances and reduce their concentration in the atmosphere to protect the Earth`s ozone layer. However, the story doesn`t end there. There is a postscript on this global collaboration that is proving thorny but positive. In 2016, a meeting was held in Kigali, Rwanda, to agree on a phase-down of another set of gases originally intended for a rapid solution for CFCs, called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Although HFCs are safe for the ozone layer, they are a powerful greenhouse gas, a thousand times more potent than CO2 and a major contributor to climate change. In 2016, after nearly a decade of negotiations, more than 150 countries agreed to reduce their use of HFCs by 85% over the next few decades. However, the use of HFCs for air conditioning and refrigeration technology is growing rapidly in developing countries, also because climate change is producing more and more deadly heat waves and driving up summer temperatures. The Kigali Amendment to the Protocol, adopted in 2016 and entering into force in January 2019, is expected to prevent up to 80 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions by 2050, which UNEP says will contribute significantly to the Paris Agreement`s goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C. An important factor that positively influenced the negotiations was the strength of the environmental movement in the United States and its ability to use a global network on CFCs. By the 1970s, when scientists first published their theory of ozone depletion, the American environmental movement had gained strength and organization. The Ozone Layer Campaign became the first major unification campaign led by organizations such as Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club.
These groups have conducted public awareness activities and encouraged the boycott of everyday products using CFCs such as aerosols. .