The theme for this year’s International Ozone Day recognises the collective efforts of the parties to the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol towards the restoration of the ozone layer over the past three decades and the global commitment to combat climate change.
As a result of concerted international efforts, the ozone layer is healing itself and is expected to recover by the middle of this century. In addition, the Montreal Protocol has significantly contributed to the mitigation of climate change by averting the emission of more than 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere by simply phasing out ozone-depleting substances.
“The world has changed since we last marked International Ozone Day,” said UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. “We now have our 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which will foster equitable inclusive growth and further the well-being of people and our planet. On climate change, the Paris Agreement marks a historic turning point in our common journey towards a secure and sustainable world.
“Now, we must turn ambition into action, and strengthen climate protection by harnessing the power of the Montreal Protocol to make progress in slowing the near-term warming caused by hydrofluorocarbons, the fastest growing of the greenhouse gases.
“Next month, in Rwanda, we have an opportunity to do exactly that, when national delegations gather to reach a global consensus on phasing down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.”