Good news! Earlier this week, scientists announced
that the hole in the ozone layer has
The news comes almost three decades after every member
of the United Nations signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty to
curb emissions known to damage the atmosphere.
have argued that the protocol's success shows what can
happen when governments put their minds to tackling major
environmental problems. Why, they ask, can't politicians do the
same thing for climate change?
The question has been posed
many times, most recently by the Guardian's George Monbiot.
Yesterday, he called on politicians to
show the same "political courage" they did back in 1987.
If they do, maybe the world will at last see some tangible progress
towards cutting emissions and curbing global warming, he
But is political will the only thing stopping
politicians establishing a comprehensive climate treaty? We explore
the obstacles to creating the equivalent of the Montreal protocol
for climate change.
The Montreal protocol and international climate
agreements are similar in as much as they both try to address
problems in the atmosphere identified by scientists.
But the relatively simple impact of emitting
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) on the ozone layer may have made the
issue easier for policymakers to engage with than climate