Today marks the International Day to Protect the Ozone Layer. The UN General Assembly decided that today, the 16th September, as it commemorated the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Members of the UN were invited to devote the Day to promote activities in accordance with the objectives of the Protocol and its amendments to help preserve life on the planet.
The theme for 2014 is “Ozone Layer Protection: The Mission Goes On”. The Montreal Protocol has so far been successful in meeting some of its targets on phasing out ozone-depleting substances. As a result, the abundance of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere is declining.
Lydia Smith from the International Business Times goes on to say ‘As of result of the protocol, the ozone layer is expected to recover around the middle of this century, although some challenges remain. According to Nasa scientist Paul Newman, the ozone layer is still around 6% thinner than it was in 1980.’
Although the Montreal Protocol has proved successful in replacing man-made CFCs with less harmful alternatives it has caused an unwanted side-effect in raising the world’s temperature exponentially. This has resulted in calls within the UN and further afield to change the protocol to combat this.
The hope that having the International Day keeps discussion alive at a global level with Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation, telling the BBC ‘this should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of tackling climate change.’
Copyright Speakers Corner 2017