International Ozone Layer Day: Friday, September 16, 2022
Date: Friday, September 16, 2022
Observed By: All UN Member States
On September 16, 1987, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed. In commemoration of this act, the UN General Assembly proclaims every September 16 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
What is the ozone layer?
The ozone layer is a very fragile strip of gas that protects life on the planet from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays and is in danger due to the use of certain chemical products for years.
A joint international effort has allowed the elimination and reduction of the use of these substances that depleted the ozone layer and at present the ultraviolet radiation from the sun that reaches the Earth has been considerably reduced, protecting human health and ecosystems.
Why is the ozone layer so important?
The chemical formula of ozone is O3. Ozone is mostly found in the upper part of the atmosphere, between 10 and 40 km above the earth’s surface, in the stratosphere.
The ozone in the stratosphere is responsible, among other things, for absorbing much of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which is harmful to life. That is why it is essential to preserve this ozone layer.
There is, however, an ozone that is considered harmful and it is the one that is found in excess on the Earth’s surface and that is harmful to living beings.
The term “ozone hole” appeared in a scientific article by the British Antarctic Survey in May 1985, discussing the problem of the destruction of the ozone layer.
The satellite image of the ozone hole has become a global symbol of this environmental threat that has helped mobilize public support for the Montreal Protocol.
Theme 2022: Montreal Protocol@35: Global cooperation to protect life on Earth
This year 2022 marks the 35th anniversary of the adoption of the Montreal Protocol, one of the most successful environmental agreements where it was shown that cooperation is the way to achieve real progress in environmental matters.
At that time it was shown that cooperation works and currently the ozone layer is recovering little by little allowing life on the planet to be protected.
Themes from previous years:
Campaign and slogan for 2021
In 2021, the motto revolved around the importance of signing the Montreal Protocol, and therefore the motto was: “Montreal Protocol, to keep us, our food and our vaccines fresh”.
The UN highlights the before and after of the Montreal Protocol for slowing down climate change and increasing energy efficiency.
2020 Theme: Ozone for Life
2020 marks the 35th anniversary of the Vienna Convention and the protection of the ozone layer worldwide. With the COVID-19 pandemic always in mind, it becomes clear once again that we must work to protect the planet if we want to avoid imbalances that generate problems worldwide.
2019 Theme: 32 Years of Recovery
The 2019 theme highlights the recovery of the ozone layer for 32 years , more than three decades of international cooperation that have managed to recover between 1 and 3% of ozone for each decade since the year 2000.
Ozone is expected to fully recover in the Northern Hemisphere by 2030 . While in the southern hemisphere the complete recovery will come in 2050. And ten years later in the polar regions.
If you are curious to see the current state of the ozone layer, you can visit the website of World Map of the Ozone Layer. NASA Ozone Watch
Background of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
In the 1980s, there were many commonly used products on the market that contained substances that were very harmful to the ozone, so that the ozone layer on Earth was considerably reduced. The best known are CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons).
In 1985 the international community made an effort to end these chemicals that endanger life on Earth. This effort materialized in the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which was approved and signed by 28 countries on March 22, 1985.
In 1987, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was drafted . More than 100 harmful chemical substances began to be controlled to gradually eliminate their production and consumption.
Finally, in 1994 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed September 16 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, in commemoration of the date of signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol.
The Montreal Protocol has been the most successful international agreement to date, as all schedules for the elimination of these substances have been met, even ahead of schedule in many cases.
On September 16, 2009, the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol became the first treaties in United Nations history to achieve universal ratification.