International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

The theme of this International Day is “Montreal Protocol: fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change”.

When it comes to environmental protection, good news is hard to come by. International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2023 celebrates the achievements of the Montreal Protocol, which was signed in 1987. According to recent data from the protocol’s Scientific Assessment Panel, ozone layer recovery is well underway. According to their forecasts, ozone levels should return to 1980 levels over Antarctica around 2066.

The Montreal Protocol has banned many substances known to deplete the ozone layer. These include gases used in aerosols and cooling systems. Realizing the significance of this hole in the ozone layer, which threatens life on earth and affects millions of people (cancer, cataracts…), the international community established a cooperative mechanism that took the form of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer (entered into force in 1988).  

The Montreal Protocol was drawn up to reduce the production and consumption of substances harmful to the ozone layer. The ozone layer is found in the earth’s upper atmosphere. It protects human beings from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

The implementation of this multilateral international agreement has met with excellent cooperation from all countries. As far back as 2003, Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, declared that this document was “perhaps the most successful international agreement to date”. This materialized on October 15, 2016, when the 197 signatory states of the Montreal Protocol reached a historic agreement promising to eliminate the use of hydrofluorocarbons (mainly used in air conditioners and refrigerators) by 2050.