Montreal Protocol on Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Dale D. Murphy

in The Structure of Regulatory Competition

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780199216512
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696008 | DOI:

Series: International Economic Law Series

Montreal Protocol on Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

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On 16 September 1987 delegates from twenty-four major countries at the Montreal Convention reached agreement on the Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. As revised, the Protocol phased out production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by 1995, and reduced production of halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform. The sale and distribution of new CFCs would be foreclosed. Trade sanctions would be imposed against countries not complying with the Protocol. The effect of the Protocol was widespread: 70 per cent of the US food supply depends on refrigeration at some point, and CFCs were the best coolant available. However, far from fighting the restrictions tooth and nail, as one might expect if one assumed industry opposed all regulations, dominant producers ended up supporting the Protocol. This chapter first summarizes the industrial structure and asset specificity in the CFC industry, then reviews heterogenous regulations in the 1970s. It next discusses the steps leading toward the 1988 Protocol, and the intimate role of industry in achieving that higher common denominator outcome.

Keywords: Montreal Convention; chlorofluorocarbons; CFC industry; higher common denominator

Chapter.  5359 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public International Law

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