The Pros And Cons Of The Montreal Protocol

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The enactment of the Montreal Protocol is a classic case of a domestic debate being internationalised at the world stage. The initial controversy started in the United States in the 1970s with the advent of scientific research on the link between a chemical called Chlorofluorocarbon (also known as CFC) popularly used in the aerosols, air conditioning and refrigeration, solvents, foams and fire retardants sectors, and ozone depletion. This scientific discovery generated health concerns among the population as the thinning of the atmosphere puts individuals at risk of exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation (URV), which is itself tied to an array of health conditions such as skin cancer. Responding to these public concerns, the United States Congress introduced restrictions on non-essential CFC uses (Kaniaru, 2007:45). However, this ban was initially contested by domestic chemical producers who sought to discredit scientific research on the danger posed by those chemicals for the thinning of the atmosphere to protect their economic interests. Yet, as new information on the existence of an ozone hole in the Antarctic Pole surfaced in the 1980s and as European competitors gained control over the market for CFCs, American chemical producers’ position shifted from fighting against domestic regulations to pushing for international ones so as to create a level playing field at the international level. This corporatist (Schmitter, 1974:93-94) mobilisation thus created a political space for the enactment of the Montreal…show more content…
By 2010, all Parties to the Protocol had complied with their targets and 98% of all ODS were ultimately phased out (UNEP, 2010). Furthermore, studies have shown that had the Protocol not been enacted, the Antarctic ozone hole would have expanded by 40% by 2013 and the ozone layer elsewhere would have thinned by 15% (Chipperfield & al,
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