International Ozone day: Everything you need to know about Vienna Convention, Montreal Protocol
This year, the theme for the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is ‘Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection’.
This year, the theme for the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is ‘Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection’. This is because 2020 marks the 35th anniversary of the creation of the 'Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer'.
The agreement was put up in 1885 and became the first convention of any kind to be signed by every country involved. It is considered to be the architect behind the norms erected for the protection of the ozone layer. This marked the first time when world leaders had recognized the importance of the ozone layer and the fast rate at which it was depleting.
The UN General Assembly had proclaimed 16 September to be the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer in 1994. Since then, it has been observed annually.
The Vienna Convention was then strengthened with the Montreal Protocol that called for strict measures aimed at controlling the global production and consumption of substances that deplete the protective layer of ozone. The Protocol required the control of nearly 100 chemicals and 16 September was selected to commemorate the day in 1987 when the ‘Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer’ was signed.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Anderson spoke about the importance of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol in detail in an official video.
He said, “[Vienna] Convention and its Montreal Protocol united the world to cut out the gases creating a hole in the planet’s ozone layer, critical in shielding us against deadly UV radiation. This model of international cooperation has put the ozone layer on the road to recovery, protecting human and ecosystem health”.
The director pointed out how this show of global trust and cooperation was needed in the current COVID-19 times as we need to address “nature loss, climate change and pollution” along with an ongoing pandemic situation.
He also praised the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal protocol in managing to be ratified by 100 nations. At the 28th Meeting of the Parties on 15 October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, it was decided that parties would bring down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) production and use in a phased manner.
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