Every year on September 16th, World Ozone Day is celebrated around the world, marking the 1987 signature of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
In 1974, scientists discovered that the CFCs so ubiquitous in HVAC&R were damaging to the stratospheric ozone layer – a major threat to life on earth.
This realization led to the adoption of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. The protocol includes CFCs, HCFCs and other ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). The treaty was signed on September 16 of that year and has since been ratified by all 197 United Nations (UN) member states.
Recognizing the impact of the treaty, in 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed September 16 the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (World Ozone Day).
This year, World Ozone Day has been given a theme, “32 Years and Healing,” signaling more than three decades of successful international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the wider climate, but also that there’s still work to be done.
"The Montreal Protocol is both an inspirational example of how humanity is capable of cooperating to address a global challenge and a key instrument for tackling today’s climate crisis,” said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, adding, “Let this International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer be an inspiration towards greater ambition on cooling.”
World Ozone Day is recognized around the world. In Africa, Zimbabwe has scheduled a symposium in Chinhoyi “to enlighten stakeholders on activities underway to protect the ozone layer and combat climate change,” said Perrance Shiri, the nation’s Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister, according to an article on the website Zimbabwe Situation.
“The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘32 years and healing’ and it celebrates over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the global climate system under the Montreal Protocol,” he said. “It reminds us that we must keep up the momentum to ensure healthy people and a healthy planet.”
“[World Ozone Day] reminds us that we must keep up the momentum to ensure healthy people and a healthy planet.”– Perrance Shiri, Zimbabwe’s Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister
Read this article in its entirety in the October 2019 issue of Accelerate Magazine.