Countries from around the world gather in Bonn, Germany this week for the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP) to thrash out how they, and the world collectively, will reduce emissions enough to avoid 2 degrees of global warming. As they do it’s worthwhile taking inspiration from a similar environmental problem that found a global solution.
As this story in the Washington Post explains, the hole in the ozone layer is shrinking after years of global efforts. After the hole’s discovery in the 1970s, the 1987 Montreal Protocol was signed by 24 nations – eventually increasing to 197 – who agreed to stop the use of the common artificial chemicals that were causing the ozone depletion. Scientific discovery of the hole and its causes generated awareness and public concern spurring global action.
While climate change is a different, larger and more complex beast, the success of the Montreal Protocol should be a beacon for global efforts at COP23 to make the Paris agreement a success.
PS. You can find out more about the ozone hole and see daily images (like the cover image) from NASA here.
Image at top: Ozone hole on 6 November 2017, NASA