Ozone Success Gives Hope for Climate
|October 17, 2012||Posted by Progress Report under Environmental|
Government officials of the day agreed to spare Earth’s ozone layer. Can today’s officials agree to enact economic justice?
by David Doniger
Climate change is not our first planetary pollution crisis. Almost 40 years ago, scientists discovered that chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons were destroying the fragile ozone layer that protects us from the sun’s dangerous UVB radiation.
That would have condemned millions of people around the world to die from skin cancer, go blind with cataracts or suffer from immune diseases.
But the world came together and averted a catastrophe. The crowning moment came 25 years ago this month when the United States joined other nations to sign the world’s most successful environmental treaty, called the Montreal Protocol.
That’s the treaty that put an end to the production of CFCs, rescued the ozone layer, saved millions of lives, and avoided a global catastrophe.
As we struggle for agreement on steps to curb the carbon pollution that’s driving climate change, it’s worth remembering, and learning from, our success in solving the ozone crisis.