The United Nations’ International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated on the 16th September every year. Commemorating the 1987 signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the day advocates activities that create awareness on topics related to climate change and ozone depletion.
The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the sun's rays, thus helping to preserve life on the planet. As such, it is paramount that we protect the ozone layer from harmful substances such as HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons). HCFCs are both ozone-depleting substances and powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to the thinning of the ozone layer. Nearly 2,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in adding to global warming, the successful reduction of HCFC emissions remains one of the UN’s greatest challenges.
However, the gradual phasing out of controlled uses of ozone-depleting substances has not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations, but has also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change. As a result, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching Earth.
Last year’s theme celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Vienna convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer, supported by the slogan Ozone and climate: Restored by a world united.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. As part of the anniversary celebrations a communication campaign was launched ahead of World Ozone Day.
The #OzoneHeroes campaign was launched on 14 September and seeks to celebrate the major accomplishments of the Montreal Protocol in protecting the ozone layer and the climate, to increase public recognition of the success and impact of the Protocol, and to generate further support for the Protocol and its new mandate to phase down climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons under the Kigali Amendment, adopted in 2016.
Campaign materials and further information on how everyone can participate in celebrating this important milestone is available at www.ozoneheroes.org.