Office of the Press Secretary
|For Immediate Release
|September 16, 1999
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today, on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, I am transmitting to the Senate for its advice and consent an amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Preservation of the ozone layer is critical to life on Earth. The Montreal Protocol has led to a dramatic reduction in the production and use of ozone-depleting chemicals, and scientists report that the ozone layer is on its way to recovery. The amendment I transmit today builds on this progress, in part by strengthening measures to promote compliance with the Protocol. I urge the Senate to approve this amendment.
It also is critical that the United States support efforts by developing countries to phase out their use of ozone-depleting chemicals. Regrettably, appropriations measures now before Congress would deny funds I have requested for the Montreal Protocol Fund, which has a long record of success in these efforts. I call on Congress to approve the funds needed to help preserve the Earth's protective ozone layer.
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President Clinton and Vice
Protecting Our Ozone Layer
September 16, 1999
Strong Leadership at Home and
Abroad. The Clinton-Gore Administration is working aggressively to implement
the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Domestically, the Administration:
· Successfully phased out CFCs (chloroflourocarbons) by 1996 and other major ozone-depleting substances by 1994.
· Approved the introduction of more than 300 alternatives to ozone-depleting substances.
· Invested more than $300 million a year in research on atmospheric chemistry and stratospheric ozone depletion.
On the international front, the Administration:
· Led successful negotiations to reduce Chinese production of halons and CFCs faster than required by the Protocol;
· Led efforts to bring Russia into compliance with the Protocol by securing financial assistance for the closure of CFC production facilities.
· Helped secure an accelerated international schedule for the phase-out of methyl bromide, a leading ozone depleter.
Making a Good Treaty Better. The Montreal Protocol is widely regarded as one of the most successful environmental treaties ever negotiated. The original accord has been strengthened with a series of amendments. Today, the President transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent the latest amendment to the Protocol. The proposed amendment bars parties from engaging in trade of methyl bromide with countries that are not party to the Protocol; and requires parties to institute licenses for the import and export of ozone-depleting chemicals. The Administration already has instituted a licensing system, and its aggressive enforcement of anti-smuggling laws has resulted in 87 convictions and 662 seizures of illegally imported ozone-depleting substances.
Supporting Efforts by Developing Countries. The international Montreal Protocol Fund has supported efforts to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals through 2,500 projects in more than 120 developing countries. As a result, many developing countries are years ahead of the reduction requirements under the Protocol. To build on these success, the President has proposed $55.5 million in fiscal year 2000 for the Fund. So far, however, Congress has appropriated less than half the President's request. The President today called on Congress to approve the funds needed to sustain strong international efforts to protect the ozone layer.
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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED
I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, the Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the "Montreal Protocol"), adopted at Montreal on September 15-17, 1997, by the Ninth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. The report of the Department of State is also enclosed for the information of the Senate.
The principal features of the 1997 Amendment, which was negotiated under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), are the addition of methyl bromide to the substances that are subject to trade control with non-Parties; and the addition of a licensing requirement for import and export of controlled substances. The 1997 Amendment will constitute a major step forward in protecting public health and the environment from potential adverse effects of stratospheric ozone depletion.
By its terms, the 1997 Amendment was to have entered into force on January 1, l999, provided that at least 20 states had deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval. However, because this condition was not met until August 12, 1999, the 1997 Amendment will enter into force on November 10, 1999.
I recommend that the
Senate give early and favorable consideration to the 1997 Amendment to
the Montreal Protocol and give its advice and consent to ratification.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
September 16, 1999.
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Office of Science
and Technology Policy
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W
Washington, DC 20502