International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, 16 September

The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.

The phase-out of controlled uses of ozone-depleting substances and the related reductions have not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations but have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change; furthermore, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth

2018 Theme: ‘Keep Cool and Carry On: The Montreal Protocol’.

In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The ozone layer absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet light which is harmful to human life and other life forms. The layer absorbs about 97 to 99% of ultraviolet rays and maintains the ozone-oxygen cycle. Dobson unit is a unit which is used to measure the ozone in the atmosphere at a standard temperature and pressure.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer. The original Montreal Protocol was agreed on 16 September 1987 and entered into force on 1 January 1989.

The Montreal Protocol includes a unique adjustment provision that enables the Parties to the Protocol to respond quickly to new scientific information and agree to accelerate the reductions required on chemicals already covered by the Protocol. These adjustments are then automatically applied to all countries that ratified the Protocol.

Montreal Protocol stipulates that the production and consumption of compounds that deplete ozone in the stratosphere-chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform-are to be phased out by 2000 (2005 for methyl chloroform). These compounds significantly deplete the stratospheric ozone layer that shields the planet from damaging UV-B radiation.

The phase-out of controlled uses of ozone-depleting substances and the related reductions have not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations but have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change; furthermore, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth.

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