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Climate pledge signed in Athens September 27, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment, Nature, Science.
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A group of 200 Greek and foreign scientists, including the three Nobel Prize winners who discovered the hole in the ozone layer, yesterday signed a declaration calling on governments and industries to take bolder steps to protect the environment and prevent further damage being wreaked by climate change.

«An understanding of the interaction between the ozone layer and climate change is critical to ensure the ozone is protected,» according to the «Athens Declaration.» The pact also called for «the improvement of systems for monitoring the ozone layer, from Earth and space.»

Scientists agreed that fighting climate change was a key prerequisite for protecting the ozone. «It is essentially the same issue but we need new approaches and new research,» the President of the International Ozone Commission, Ivar Isaksen, said.

Scientists expressed fears of cuts in the funding for research. «We have seen a trend of cancellations of research programs for the stratosphere, both by the EU and the USA,» Professor William M. Cirillo of NASA said.

The Athens Declaration was signed on the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, internationally recognized for having saved the ozone layer. But the President of Athens’ National Observatory, Christos Zerefos, warned against complacency. «We have had successes but the battle is not over,» he said.

An ongoing study of the ozone layer should be conducted alongside intensive research into climate change, Zerefos said. He also stressed the importance of businesses taking a more responsible stance toward the environment. «It is the obligation of the industrial sector to take urgent action in this direction,» he said.

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