As the first day of 2010 dawns, the world is waking up to a new reality,
one springing from an unparalleled confidence in human ingenuity and
a collective belief that "we can".
This reality liberates us from the shackles a group of man-made chemicals
that have threatened life on Earth: chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons
among others. These substances deplete our planet's protective shield,
the stratospheric ozone layer, which prevents excessive harmful ultraviolet
radiation from reaching humans, plants and animals. From 2010 on, subsequent
generations will know about CFCs and halons only from the pages of history
books, since no new production is allowed from 1st January 2010.
This date is a defining moment in the history of multilateral environmental
agreements and a beacon of hope that success on seemingly insurmountable
and challenging global environmental problems is achievable. This hope
is echoed all over the world by the ministers, key officials, industries,
academia and civil society.
Listen to these echoes, their resounding messages and images.