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A successful instance of research to policy, involving an international treaty

We’re celebrating 25 years of the Montreal Protocol. I was in Ohio when the Treaty was signed and I wasn’t too hopeful it would work. The whole thing had started with a research paper published in 1974, just 13 years before the treaty.

It’s very hard to get an international treaty. Even harder to make one that actually work. Congratulations to all who did the hard work.

The Montreal Protocol commemorates its 25th anniversary of enactment this month, and has reason to celebrate: It has reduced nearly 100 damaging chemicals by nearly 100 percent. Because these same chemicals that destroy the ozone layer also warm the climate, the Montreal Protocol also has made a tremendous contribution to climate protection, nearly 20 times as much as the Kyoto Protocol. This is a planet-saving treaty, protecting both the ozone layer and the climate system. And it can do still more.

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