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Wednesday Keynote Address: Can Data Foreshadow Policy? The Example of the Montreal Protocol

T. Birmpili

Multilateral Fund Secretariat for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, United Nations Environment Programme, Montreal, Canada; 438-220-5184, E-mail: tina.birmpili@un.org

The significance of the Montreal Protocol lies on three main points: first, united action and universal membership of 198 parties to the ozone treaties to achieve results; second, right science and an agreement on finance and technology to reconcile nations’ different needs and act as one on a global challenge; third, patience for more than thirty years to see the positive results of the concerted actions, a time scale that needs to be factored in, in international negotiations. Its success lies on the interaction between science, policy and diplomacy. In my presentation, I will refer to the role of science in four different aspects of the Montreal Protocol:

I will elaborate on the questions, the discussions and the responses that policy makers had in addressing the issue of the unexpected emissions of CFC11 when it was brought to them through a scientific discovery. I will go further and wonder whether there is a fifth way that science can contribute to foreshadow policy by bringing together diverse policy issues, multilateral treaties and Conventions with different mandates through coordinating common scientific interests in observations and modelling that can apply to more than one environmental or even another objective.


Figure 1

Figure 1. Tina Birmpili is an international professional with twenty-five years of experience in policy analysis and implementation on environmental issues and management at all levels of governance. She has been for seven years the Executive Secretary of the Vienna Convention for the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and she headed the Ozone Secretariat during the negotiations that created the Kigali Amendment. She is currently the Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. Her academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Physics, a Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Technology and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Management and Economics.