Global climate change has brought forth an immediate need by all countries to discuss the significant concerns affecting the world community. On September 16, 1987, the original Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed and was effective as of January 1, 1989. One of the provisions of the protocol was to allow nations to make adjustments rapidly as new scientific information became available. Adjustments came into effect on March 7, 1991; September 23, 1993; August 5, 1996; June 4, 1998; July 28, 2000; and May 14, 2008. (See endnote 32.) In December 1997, over 150 countries adopted the Kyoto Protocol to protect the Earth’s atmosphere and the climate. The nations agreed to establish legally binding limits on the admissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The agreement also established substantial support for climate change research.

World Summit on Sustainable Development

The World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, and concluded on September 4, 2002. Various nations, United Nations agencies, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, and citizen groups from all over the world discussed the priority issues of water, energy, health, agriculture, and biodiversity. All this activity was geared to increase the availability of safe water and clean energy, reduce hunger, improve agricultural areas, protect people from illness and injury, and protect the environment.

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