Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Malgosia Fitzmaurice, David M. Ong and Panos Merkouris
Chapter 22: Filling The Holes: The Montreal Protocol’s Non-Compliance Mechanism
* Feja Lesniewska Introduction With the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol occurring in September 2007, the ozone legal regime continues to be celebrated as one of the most ‘successful’ multilateral environmental agreements of our time. But the scientific presentations at the 2007 19th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) in Montreal revealed that stratospheric ozone levels remain low, the Antarctic ozone hole is still at its worst, and skin cancer cases are still expected to multiply several times in the next decade. As one delegate noted, this state of affairs was a stark reminder that ‘once the balance of nature is tipped no degree of international cooperation can quickly fix it’ (IISD, 2007: 12). There is no doubt that the international ozone legal regime averted irreparable damage to the stratospheric ozone layer, which screens out harmful ultraviolet solar radiation (UV), and set the foundations in placed for its recovery.1 Anthropogenic production of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) has declined by over 95 per cent since the Vienna Convention (1985) and the Montreal Protocol (1987) entered into force (The Economist, 2007). The recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer is expected to occur between 2050 and 2065 according to scientific experts (P.WMO/UNEP, 2006, cited in AGU, 2005).2 A recent scientific report further highlighted the significant contribution that the implementation of the ozone legal regime has made towards the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, thereby mitigating climate change (Velders et al., 2007). This will be compounded by the decision adopted at the recent...
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