September 16 every year is dedicated to a cause that might not be visibly relevant but is the most important in today’s day and age. After a deal called Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone layer signed by almost every country in 1987, the UN General Assembly, in 1994, proclaimed this day as the International Day for the Prevention of the Ozone Layer.
History and Significance
Humans have been a threat to the natural paradigm of the blue planet. One of the consequences of the oblivious actions harming the environment was the depletion of the fragile layer of gas that protects people on earth from harmful cosmic rays, called the ozone layer.
The Montreal Protocol was a deal for countries across the globe to curb the existence of all ozone-depleting substances such as aerosols, chlorofluorocarbon, halons, etc., widely used for cooling and refrigeration purposes. The usage of such harmful substances resulted in a hole in the ozone layers in Antarctica, first discovered in 1970, which led to acute global warming in the past 20 years.
However, the 1985 Vienna convention that gave rise to the Montreal Protocol did make a dent in the deadly disruption of the ozone layer, and in January 2021, the hole finally closed due to collective efforts of the entire world, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2021: Theme
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Prevention of the Ozone Layer is ‘Montreal Protocol – Keeping us, our food, and vaccines cool.’ The theme is selected for the year 2021 to highlight the long-term results of the 35-year-old protocol, the first ever to be ratified by all the 197 members of the United Nations.
In India, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change devised the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) in 2019, aimed at providing an integrated vision towards reducing refrigerant transition, enhancing energy efficiency, and curbing cooling demands. The ICAP aligns with the theme of the day in 2021.
According to experts, the ozone layer is estimated to return to the pre-1980 level by the year 2050