16 September is World Ozone Day. The theme for 2020 is Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection. It marks 35 years of the Vienna Convention.
Inger Anderson, Executive Director of UNEP, explains how the decisive global response to the ozone layer depletion has become a model of international cooperation.
“Today on World Ozone Day, we celebrate 35 years of the Vienna Convention for the protection of the ozone layer.
This 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.
Such cooperation demonstrates that when people work together, they can fix problems on a global scale.
We need this unity of purpose more than ever, as we seek to address nature loss, climate change and pollution in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the discussions on the replenishment of the multilateral fund.
The ozone treaties have a major role to play in this work. Particularly, through the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal protocol. As we know, the Kigali Amendment has now been ratified by 100 parties and, fully implemented, will prevent 0.4°C of global warming.
I congratulate all involved in the ozone treaties for the 35 years of success and I wish them many more to come.”
In 1985, the world’s governments adopted the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. Under the Convention’s Montreal Protocol, governments, scientists and industry worked together to cut out 99 per cent of all ozone-depleting substances. Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is healing and expected to return to pre-1980 values by mid-century. In support of the Protocol, the Kigali Amendment, which came into force in 2019, will work towards reducing hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs), greenhouse gases with powerful climate-warming potential and damaging to the environment.
World Ozone Day shows that collective decisions and action, guided by science, are the only way to solve major global crises.