Measuring Environmental Degradation
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Measuring Environmental Degradation

Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe

Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale

Measuring Environmental Degradation is a unique book that provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the key issues of environmental significance addressed as part of the Eurostat ‘Environmental Pressure Indicators Project’. The book is part of the ‘Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU’ (TEPI) series that has resulted from the project.
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Chapter 16: Ozone depletion: the problem and the policy implications

G. Visconti


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 that a decrease in total ozone could have important...

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