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World Ozone Day -16 Sep 2019

The United Nations ‘International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer’ or the ‘World Ozone Day’ is celebrated on the 16th of September every year. The day advocates the activities that create awareness on topics related to climate change and ozone depletion, commemorating the 1987 signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone layer.

This year the theme for the World Ozone Day is ’32 Years and Healing’. It intends to celebrate the three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and climate under the Montreal Protocol.

The Montreal Protocol
The ‘Montreal Protocol’ on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on 16th September 1987 at the United Nations General Assembly. It is an international treaty planned to protect ozone layer by reducing the production of substances supposed to be responsible for ozone layer depletion. The protocol came into effect from 1st January 1989. It is a universally ratified convention.

The Montreal Protocol (MP) aims at phasing out ozone depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydro-chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) that were mostly used in air conditioning, refrigerating and foam industry. However, HFCs are not ozone depleting, but have a high global warming potential.

Kigali Agreement
This agreement amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol to include HFCs apart from CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances. This move will help to prevent a potential 0.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperature by the end of the century.

The Kigali Agreement or amended Montreal Protocol for HFCs reduction will be binding on countries from 2019.

The Ozone Layer is very significant for human lives as it protects us from the harmful effects of the UV radiations. The commendable cooperation, shown by the World Community has resulted in gradual improvement of the rather depleting layer. In an assessment done in 2018, it was reported that the parts of Ozone Layer have recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000. Even at this rate, the Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone will completely by the 2030s. The Southern Hemisphere will follow in the 2050s and Polar Regions by 2060s.

The World Ozone Day thus marks the cooperation of the world leaders to fight together against the vagaries of climate change so as to make the planet better for our future generations.

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