Protection of the atmosphere is a broad and multidimensional endeavour involving various sectors of economic activity. Many of the issues discussed in Chapter 9 of Agenda 21, on "Protection of the Atmosphere," are also addressed in such international agreements as the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer as amended, the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other international, including regional, instruments.
Agenda 21 notes, however, that activities that may be undertaken in pursuit of the objectives of this chapter should be co-ordinated with social and economic development in an integrated manner with a view to avoiding adverse impacts on the latter, taking into full account the legitimate priority needs of developing countries for the achievement of sustained economic growth and the eradication of poverty.
Particular attention is given to four programme areas. These are
- improving the scientific basis for addressing uncertainties;
- preventing stratospheric ozone depletion;
- mitigating trans-boundary atmospheric pollution; and
- promoting sustainable development with particular reference to
- energy development, efficiency and consumption;
- industrial development; and
- terrestrial and marine resource development and land use.
The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) fourth session in 1996 held substantive discussions on protection of the atmosphere. CSD fourteenth session in 2006 and fifteenth session in 2007 focused on a cluster of thematic issues, including atmosphere and air pollution.