Main Issue

The ozone layer is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere from approximately 20 to 30 km (12 to 19 miles) above Earth, though the thickness varies seasonally and geographically; it protects living things from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Concern about radiation from a depleting ozone layer dates back to the 1970s. Scientists then discovered a “hole” in the ozone layer over the Antarctic in the 1980s. Through the Vienna Convention and its Montreal Protocol, the global community is taking action to reduce and eliminate chemicals that harm the ozone layer. Read more+

What We Do

The GEF is not formally linked to the Montreal Protocol, but we still actively support its implementation. Under the terms of the protocol, countries with economies in transition were not eligible for multilateral funding. The GEF stepped in to fill the gap. We help the Russian Federation and nations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to phase out their use of ozone-destroying chemicals under the terms of the Montreal Protocol. Read more+


By 2012, the GEF had helped 18 economies in transition to phase out ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol. We have invested $235 million in 29 projects that leveraged another $247 million from our partners.

Through the Montreal Protocol, total global consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) has dropped by more than 90 percent compared to a business-as-usual approach. The GEF has helped decrease consumption and production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in countries with economies in transition. But more work is needed to address other substances, in particular methyl bromide and hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Read more+