Montreal protocol: The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987). An international agreement, signed by most of the industrialized nations, to substantially reduce the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Signed in January 1989, the original document called for a 50-percent reduction in CFC use by 1992 relative to 1986 levels. The subsequent London Agreement called for a complete elimination of CFC use by 2000. The Copenhagen Agreement, which called for a complete phase out by January 1, 1996, was implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.