Book Chapter
Efficiency Issues and the Montreal Protocol on CFCs

Given that a treaty among national governments is the best institution available to control global public bads (GPBs) such as ozone layer depletion or global climate change, this chapter presents an investigation on whether there are any incentives to uncooperative inefficient behaviour based on the 1987 Montreal Protocol (MP). The main conclusion is that although at the time it was drafted MP was the ‘best’ feasible treaty for controlling CFC emissions, some incentives appear to be missing. The loss of CFCs as a result of inefficiency within the treaty is likely to be greater than that caused by a large number of (developing) countries not signing the treaty. Differences in net costs of reducing CFC use among signatories were not taken into account. Thirdly, the treaty focuses on CFC use and not on CFC emissions. The treaty allows trade of CFC-based products among signatories. This discourages signatories from trying to reduce CFC use more than that required by the MP. The existence of non-signatories means that scope remains for import of CFC-based products from such countries. This may also hinder the effectiveness of MP.