See more coverage of this event on the main IISD ENB website

We have launched a new website to better share our reports of global environmental negotiations.

As well as current coverage of new negotiations, you can find our original reports from this event by clicking here.


Summary of the Seminar

Click here for coverage of MOP-19

20th Anniversary Seminar of the Montreal Protocol
“Celebrating 20 Years of Progress”

16 September 2007
Montreal, Canada

Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister of Canada, gave the keynote address at the 20th Anniversary celebratory dinner

The twentieth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was commemorated on Sunday, 16 September 2007, with a seminar entitled "Celebrating 20 Years of Progress.' The event was hosted by Environment Canada and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and took place at the Palais de Congrès in Montreal, Canada, in the lead-up to the nineteenth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP-19).

Participants from governments, international organizations, business and civil society took part in the day's celebrations, which included keynote presentations, an awards ceremony, and a range of panel discussions. The panel discussions focused on the history, development and implementation of the Montreal Protocol, ozone science, links with other environmental issues, and future challenges.
Opening Ceremony
A view of the dais during the opening ceremony
Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary, Ozone Secretariat, opened the seminar, which he said celebrated the success of the Montreal Protocol, and looked with confidence to the future of the process.
Cécile Cléroux, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environment Canada (left), welcomed delegates on behalf of the Government of Canada, and noted that the Montreal Protocol has been successful because of close cooperation among the scientists and governments, particularly for gaining understanding of chemical reactions and their effect on the environment. Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP (right) , welcomed delegates and said the 20th anniversary of the Protocol was an opportunity to celebrate and show the world a successful framework for transforming science into policy making.
Scientific Discovery
Nobel Laureate Professor Frank Sherwood Rowland, University of California, provided an overview of the development of ozone science since the 1930s. He stressed that atmospheric chlorine would have increased steeply and ozone would have declined precipitously had it not been for the Montreal Protocol and its amendments; a photo of participants of the first International Ozone Conference, which was held in Oxford, UK, in 1936.
Nobel Laureate Professor Mario Molina, University of California, highlighted that more has been achieved in terms of greenhouse gas emission reductions under the Montreal Protocol than under the Kyoto Protocol; and an excerpt from an article written by Molina and Rowland that appeared in Nature magazine in 1974.
Panel 1A: Development Stage

Victor Buxton, former Canadian Chief Negotiator for the Montreal Protocol (left), listed challenges during the negotiations including scientific uncertainty and barriers to trade including perceived market share agendas. Richard Benedick, former chief US negotiator on the Montreal Protocol (center), suggested that the ozone process provides the key to success in international negotiations. He stressed the importance of courageous leadership by individuals and countries, and the need for small, focused meetings. Ambassador Juan Antonio Mateos, Mexico (right), stressed the achievements of the ozone process and said its success has not yet been replicated elsewhere.

Panel 1B: Evolution of Ozone Science

Richard Stolarski, US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (left), outlined historical advances in ozone science from 1840 to the present, including: the identification of ozone; and the measurement of the solar spectrum cut-off and the location of ozone in the stratosphere. Ayité-Lo Ajavôn, Director, Atmospheric Chemistry Institute, Université de Lomé, Togo (right), discussed the role of developing countries in ozone science, with emphasis on the need for data on the effects of ozone depletion to convince policymakers to support the science.

Panel 2A: Implementation Stage: National or Regional Perspectives

Drusilla Hufford, US Environmental Protection Agency (left), highlighted "clear policy goals, smart NGOs, transformative industry leadership, and gold-standard science" as keys to the US ' successful implementation of Montreal Protocol; Ana María Contreras Vigil, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico (right), presented Mexico 's programmes addressing ODSs and noted that Mexico was the first to adopt and ratify the Protocol in 1988.

Marianne Wenning, European Commission, outlined the EU's "building blocks" for implementing the Montreal Protocol and emphasized the need for measures to be cost effective.
Panel 2B: Path to the Montreal Protocol

Mack MacFarland, Dupont (right), recounted DuPont’s commitment to phase-out CFC production following preliminary findings that CFCs were responsible for ozone depletion shortly after the Montreal Protocol was signed.

Panel 3A: Financial Mechanisms: Technology Transfer, Capacity Building and Lessons Learned

Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) (left), discussed technological and economic issues related to the Montreal Protocol's evolution from a set of contentious proposals to an agreement with wide support; Omar El-Arini, former head of the Multilateral Fund, (right) remarked that almost USD2 billion was earmarked for the transfer of technologies to developing countries.

Panel 3B: Science Assessments
Photo left to right: Moderator Lambert Kuijpers, Netherlands, Jan van der Leun, Ecofys Netherlands, A.R. Ravishankara, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Ted Shepherd, University of Toronto
Panel 4A: Future lessons of the Montreal Protocol-Lessons learned and applicability to other environmental issues
During the panel session on lessons learned, participants discussed the successes of the Montreal Protocol provisions on compliance and the Multilateral Fund, and suggested that these provisions could serve as models for other environmental agreements. Left to right: Tadanori Inomata, UN Joint Inspection Unit, Ambassador Raul Estrada Oyuela, Argentina , Claudia McMurray, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, US, and Jukka Uosukainen, Ministry of Environment, Finland
Panel 4B: 20 Years of Progress
Professor Frank Sherwood Rowland, University of California, Richard Stolarski, NASA, and Moderator Tom McElroy, Environment Canada


Awards Ceremony: Awards for implementing agency ozone champions, those who have worked with the Multilateral Fund and UNEP, awarness raising and visionary awards

Mugure Kibe Ursulet, UNEP's OzonAction Programme (left) accepted an award for her work; the Earth Negotiations Bulletin received an award for outstanding work in raising awareness of ozone depletion and the Montreal Protocol, and ENB writer William McPherson (right) accepted the award on behalf of IISD Reporting Services.

Award recepients for visionaries of the Montreal Protocol
Executive Secretary Marco Gonzalez, Nobel Laureate Frank Sherwood Rowland, Joan Rowland, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and Nobel Laureate Mario Molina
Canadian Environment Minister John Baird with former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and UNEP Executive Director (left) and Minister Baird with Mulroney (right)

up to top

Please e-mail the Digital Editor should you have any questions regarding the content of this page.