By Stephen Leahy
MONTREAL, Sep 23’07 (IPS) – More than 190 nations agreed this week to combat global warming and accelerate the healing of the ozone layer, although critics say more could have been accomplished.
The sun shone bright and warm here on Friday, the final day of the 19th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer. Outside, caravans of pre-school children in strollers or holding hands as they walked sported hats and long-sleeved shirts to protect their delicate skin.
It can be easy to forget that the sun was not always so dangerous, and that modern society is responsible for putting chemicals into the atmosphere that continue to destroy the ozone layer that protects all life from harmful levels of solar ultraviolet radiation.
[UPDATE: Sept 2009 — Ozone Treaty May Hold Key to Halting Climate Change;
And we forget that things could have been far worse without international action in the form of the Montreal Protocol, which opened for signature 20 years ago this week.
Sadly, that action came late and was not vigorous enough for millions of people who have or will get skin cancer. Continue reading