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Ozone layer on track to recovery

10494640The ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to the Montreal Protocol and the phase-out of ozone-depleting gases. 

A new assessment by 300 scientists has confirmed that actions taken under the Montreal Protocol, which instituted a phase out of CFC and HCFC refrigerants amongst other ozone-depleting gases, are enabling the return of the ozone layer to benchmark 1980 levels. Under full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 levels before the middle of the century in mid-latitudes and the Arctic, and somewhat later in the Antarctic.

The study is being published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and is the first comprehensive update in four years.

The Montreal Protocol has also made large contributions toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. In 1987, ozone-depleting substances contributed about 10 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent emissions per year. The Montreal Protocol has now reduced these emissions by more than 90%.

The Scientific Assessment Panel is expected to present the key findings of the new report at the annual Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, to be held in Paris in November.

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