International Ozone Day celebrates its 35th year

Like any other important day that represents a meaningful event, Sept. 16 denotes the International Ozone Day. 

The story of humanity battling against climate change is not new, and to mark the progress, The United Nations marked Sept. 16 as International Ozone Day.

It has been 35 years since the Vienna convention came into play. Despite not being a legally bound agreement, the tradition is set up as a framework for ozone protection internationally.

The theme for this year’s Ozone Day event is “Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection,” marking the 35th year since the world decided to take a step against climate change. The said event mainly aims to control and improve the earth’s ozone layer.

The Vienna Convention focuses on reducing the use of ODS, also known as Ozone Depletion Substances. The agreement is signed by 28 counties and ratified by 197 countries. In recent news, South Sudan is the latest country to join the said agreement.

The background

The understanding of climate change started when researchers noticed the holes in the earth’s ozone layer. The observed effects of the said activity are increasing temperatures and skin cancer cases.

The heart-thumping news led the world’s respective concerned officials to take action on the rising issue, creating ways to prevent further damage. Help and support from various organizations have been existent like the World Meteorological Organization, the European Union, and The United Nations.

The cooperation of the world’s most outstanding organizations helped and made the convention become one of the most successful and accepted treaties of today.

Furthermore, the Montreal protocol was formulated, which aims to strengthen the Vienna convention. It imposes strict measures and standards for the global production of ozone-depleting substances, leading to the banning of almost 100 chemicals.

Marking the anniversary of change, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program released a video stating the impact made by the Vienna Convention and Montreal protocol.

In the video, Executive Director Inger Anderson thanked the nations involved in fighting against climate change.

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,” she added.

The future steps

The last initiation of the six-amendment protocol took place on Oct. 16, 2016. 

The event was carried out in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, named as Kigali Amendment, with 100 ratifications from 100 nations. Moreover, the latest amendment aims to decrease the production of hydrofluorocarbons in phases.

Image courtesy of studio23/Shutterstock

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