Canada's Environment Minister celebrates 20 years of progress protecting the ozone layer



    MONTREAL, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Environment Minister,
John Baird, today marked International Ozone Day at the Biosphere in Montreal
by recognizing the important work of Canadian scientists in protecting the
ozone layer. Minister Baird's visit comes on the eve of a United Nations
conference celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the
global agreement phasing out chemicals that thin the ozone layer.
    "Canada and the world have made great progress in twenty years to reduce
ozone depleting substances," said Minister Baird. "It is appropriate that we
mark International Ozone Day here as countries gather to celebrate our
collective achievement."
    Minister Baird was joined by the Executive Director of the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner, on a tour of Canadian
stratospheric ozone science exhibits and to release of an ozone sonde, an
ozone measuring device attached to a large balloon.
    Canada is recognized as a leader for its contribution towards the
development and continued effectiveness of the Protocol, which the U.N. calls
the "single most successful international agreement to date". Parties to the
Protocol have phased out 95% of ozone-depleting substances. It is estimated
that approximately 20.6 million cases of skin cancer will have been averted
worldwide by 2060.
    In addition, developing research suggests that international measures
taken to phase out ozone-depleting substances are also having a positive
impact on tackling climate change as well as reducing the threat from the
thinning of the ozone layer.
    "We have come far, but there is still much to do," said Minister Baird.
"At this conference, Canada will be challenging the world to move faster to
phase-out chemicals that both deplete the ozone layer and cause climate
change."

    Between September 17 and the 21st, the Protocol signatories will be
meeting in Montreal to chart the future of the Protocol and to ensure that the
world remains on track to phasing-out the remaining uses of ozone depleting
substances.

    (Egalement offert en français)




For further information:

For further information: (Photo to come); Eric Richer, Press Secretary,
Office of the Minister of the Environment, (613) 286-6064 (cell phone in
Montreal); Environment Canada, Media Relations, (819) 934-8008,
1-888-908-8008


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