International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is observed annually on September 16 to create awareness about the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The theme for 2023 is the Montreal Protocol: fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change. The 2023 theme highlights the key role of the Montreal Protocol in protecting the ozone layer and reducing climate change. In this article, we will learn about International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer history, theme, and significance.
In 1985, British scientists found that the ozone layer was depleting in the stratosphere above Antarctica.
Later, in the same year (1985), the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted and signed by 28 countries.
This convention led to the drafting of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty, which was designed to protect the ozone layer.
The Montreal Protocol was passed on 16 September 1987 and came into force on 1 January 1989.
Later, in 1994, the United Nations (UN) passed a resolution 49/114, to observe 16 September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
In 2016, the Montreal Protocol led to the Kigali Amendment.
Under the Kigali Amendment, the parties signed and agreed to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
In 2023, the United Nations suggested the theme for Ozone Day is ‘Montreal Protocol: Fixing the Ozone Layer and Reducing Climate Change’.
The theme for 2022 was ‘Montreal Protocol@35: Global Cooperation Protecting Life on Earth’.
The theme for 2021 was ‘Montreal Protocol – keeping us, our food and vaccines cool’.
The theme for 2020 was ‘Ozone for Life - 35 Years of Ozone Layer Protection’.
Ozone is a composition of three atoms of oxygen.
It is a gas that exists in the upper atmosphere of Earth and at ground level.
It has some good and bad aspects, with respect to the health and the environment.
Bad Aspect: The ozone, which exists at the ground level, is an air pollutant. It is harmful to breathe and damages crops, trees, and other vegetation.
Cause of Bad Ozone: Bad ozone is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight.
Good Aspect: The ozone, which occurs in the upper atmosphere of Earth, i.e. Stratosphere, is good for the Earth, as it protects from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
In the Stratosphere, the ozone produced naturally, which is depleting gradually by man-made chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), carbon tetrachloride, methyl bromide, and methyl chloroform.
The group of above-mentioned man-made chemicals is referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
Depletion of Ozone in the Stratosphere can increase the amount of UV radiation reaching the Earth, which causes cataracts, skin cancer, and impaired immune systems.
It can also affect the food supply, as UV can damage sensitive crops, such as soybeans.
India joined the Vienna Convention in 1991 and the Montreal Protocol in 1992, for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.
India has successfully achieved the complete elimination of the Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b.
This chemical was used by foam manufacturing enterprises.
It is considered one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemicals after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
India has taken various steps to curb ozone pollution, which are as follows-
Shifting to BS-VI-compliant vehicles
Ban of garbage burning
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)
India also aimed to achieve net zero emissions by 2070
Recently, India and leaders of other countries i.e. USA, Brazil, Singapore, Bangladesh, Italy, Argentina, Mauritius, and UAE launched the Global Biofuel Alliance.