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Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

 

SUMMARY OF:

Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer

Decision 88/540/EEC on the conclusion of the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer and the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE CONVENTION AND THE DECISION?

  • The Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer lays down the principles to protect the ozone layer*, following scientific warnings that its depletion was a danger to human health and the environment.
  • It is a framework convention that mainly aims to promote international cooperation through exchange of information on the impact of human activity on the ozone layer. It does not require parties* to take specific measures. These would come later in the form of the Montreal Protocol to the Vienna Convention.
  • The Vienna Convention was the first convention of any kind to be signed by every country involved, taking effect in 1988 and reaching universal ratification in 2009.
  • Decision 88/540/EEC gives the EU’s legal approval for the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer and the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.

KEY POINTS

As a general obligation, parties must take appropriate measures to protect human health and the environment against adverse effects resulting or likely to result from human activities which modify or are likely to modify the ozone layer. In particular, on the basis of relevant scientific and technical considerations, parties must:

  • adopt appropriate legislative or administrative measures;
  • cooperate
    • on systematic observations, research and information exchange to better understand the issues involved
    • in formulating measures, procedures, standards and harmonising appropriate policies
    • with competent international bodies to effectively implement the Convention and its Protocols.

Ozone layer research and scientific assessments involving the parties, either directly or within international bodies, focus on:

  • physical and chemical processes;
  • human health and other biological effects, particularly changes in ultraviolet solar radiation;
  • climatic effects;
  • substances, practices, processes and activities, and their cumulative impact;
  • effects deriving from any modifications of the ozone layer;
  • alternative substances and technologies;
  • related socio-economic issues;
  • more detailed factors, such as the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere and specific chemical substances, are set out in the Annexes.

In addition, parties must:

  • facilitate and encourage the exchange of scientific, technical, socio-economic, commercial and legal information relevant to the convention (Annex II spells this out in greater detail);
  • cooperate, taking account of developing countries’ needs, in promoting the development and transfer of technology by
    • helping partners to acquire alternative technologies
    • providing the necessary information, such as manuals and guides
    • supplying research equipment and facilities
    • training scientific and technical personnel;
  • inform the decision-making body (the Conference of the Parties) of the measures they have taken to implement the convention.

The Conference of the Parties (on which all signatory countries are represented and have a vote):

  • monitors implementation of the convention;
  • reviews scientific information;
  • promotes appropriate harmonised policies, strategies and measures;
  • adopts programmes on research, scientific and technological cooperation, exchange of information and transfer of technology and knowledge;
  • considers and adopts amendments to the convention and possible additional protocols;
  • when appropriate, calls on the expertise of bodies such as the World Meteorological Organization and the World Health Organization;
  • tries to settle any disputes on interpretation or application of the convention by negotiation or third party mediation. If these fail, the issue may be referred to a conciliation commission or the International Court of Justice;
  • is supported by a secretariat.

After the convention has been in force for 4 years, a party may announce its intention to leave. This takes effect 1 year later.

FROM WHEN DO THE CONVENTION AND DECISION APPLY?

  • The convention entered into force on 22 September 1988.
  • The decision has applied since 25 October 1988.

BACKGROUND

  • The Vienna Convention was adopted on 22 March 1985 and entered into force on 22 September 1988, Since its entry into force, international action has reduced global consumption of ozone-depleting substances by 98%; but the ozone layer is not expected to fully recover before the second half of this century.
  • The EU implements the convention and its Montreal Protocol through its own legislation on ozone-depleting substances and flourinated greenhouse gases — among the strictest and most advanced in the world.
  • The EU Ozone Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer), goes beyond the requirements of the Montreal Protocol in several cases; for instance:
    • it has more ambitious reduction timeframes;
    • it covers more substances; and
    • it also regulates their presence in products and equipment (not only in bulk as in the Montreal Protocol).
  • The EU F-Gas Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases) envisages a more ambitious EU reduction for greenhouse gases already applicable from 2015, and covers greenhouse gases in products and equipment (not only in bulk as in the Montreal Protocol).
  • For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Ozone layer: layer of atmospheric ozone above the planetary boundary.
Parties: a country which has ratified the convention.

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer (OJ L 297, 31.10.1988, pp. 10-20)

Council Decision 88/540/EEC of 14 October 1988 concerning the conclusion of the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer and the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer (OJ L 297, 31.10.1988, pp. 8-9)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer (OJ L 286, 31.10.2009, pp. 1-30)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer — Declaration by the European Economic Community (OJ L 297, 31.10.1988, pp. 21-28)

Council Decision 82/795/EEC of 15 November 1982 on the consolidation of precautionary measures concerning chlorofluorocarbons in the environment (OJ L 329, 25.11.1982, pp. 29-30)

Council Decision 80/372/EEC of 26 March 1980 concerning chlorofluorocarbons in the environment (OJ L 90, 3.4.1980, p. 45)

Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases and repealing Regulation (EC) No 842/2006 (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, pp. 195-230)

last update 12.12.2019

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