The U.S. Department of Defense and individual military services are being honored with multiple awards from the United Nations Environmental Programme and by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency for advancements in ozone sustainment. The awards come as part of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol, considered as one of the most successful environmental treaties of all time
The “Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer,” is designed to protect the ozone layer by freezing the use and production of ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and halons, because these compounds significantly damage the stratospheric ozone layer. Today, 191 countries have signed the treaty.
The Defense Department made major contributions to the success of this treaty. Despite having some of the most demanding requirements for the use of CFC refrigerants and halon fire suppressants, DOD has spearheaded research, development, and testing efforts to identify suitable alternatives, and has one of the most aggressive and effective ozone-depleting substances phase-out programs in the world. As a result, since 1989, DOD has reduced usage of ozone damaging substances from over 12 million pounds down to less than half a million pounds, a 96 percent reduction.
The United Nations and the EPA are planning a number of activities with officials in Montreal, Canada, to commemorate the anniversary of this important treaty.