Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe
Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale
Chapter 16: Ozone depletion: the problem and the policy implications
16. Ozone depletion: the problem and the policy implications G. Visconti 1. INTRODUCTION The ozone depletion issue was ﬁrst recognized in the early 1970s with the setting up of CIAP (Climatic Impact Assessment Program) promoted by the Department of Transportation of the US Government. The reason for establishing the programme was related to the assessment of the possible effects that a ﬂeet of supersonic commercial planes could have on the ozone layer. During the development of the programme a discovery was made, which subsequently resulted in the award of the Nobel Prize in 1995,1 that chlorine atoms produced in the photolysis of chloroﬂuorocarbons (CFCs) could destroy ozone. Although this was prospectively an important declaration, it would have simply produced one more inconclusive assessment programme had it not been for the discovery in 1985 of the large ozone depletion occurring in the Antarctic stratosphere (popularly called the ‘ozone hole’). In the same year the Vienna Convention was signed, followed two years later by the Montreal Protocol, which ﬁxed for the ﬁrst time a limit on the production of CFCs. These agreements reached a ﬁnal form in 1992, with the Copenhagen amendments. The international community for the ﬁrst time reached an agreement to ban the industrial production at global level of a dangerous though useful product. This achievement is noteworthy because the ozone layer is something we cannot easily visualize or experience directly. The protocol, which included the possibility of producing alternative, less harmful products, was based on the assumption...
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