World Ozone Day 2019: 32 Years and Healing
World Ozone Day, September 16, marks the anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of the main substances that are responsible for ozone depletion and, since the ratification of the Kigali amendment, HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) that contribute to global warming.
Thanks to 30 years of individual and collective actions taken by governments, scientists, industry, non-governmental institutions, and citizens in all 198 Parties to the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty has led to the phase out of 99 per cent of ozone depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products.
The graph above, provided by the CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, illustrates the global observations of the impact the Montreal Protocol on the levels of ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere, and suggest the impact into the future to 2050.
The latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion completed in 2018 shows that parts of the ozone layer have recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000. At projected rates, the Southern Hemisphere will recover in the 2050s and Polar Regions by 2060.
Ozone layer protection efforts have contributed to the fight against climate change by averting an estimated 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, from 1990 to 2010. It has also lead to fewer cases of skin cancer, cataracts, and immunodeficiency in communities across the world due to increased protection from UV radiation. Ozone protection measures have also preserved agricultural production and reduced risks to wildlife and ecosystems.
The theme for this year, 32 Years and Healing, celebrates over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol. It reminds us that we must keep up the momentum to ensure healthy people and a healthy planet.
Australia is leading the charge on ozone protection measures by accelerating the reduction of ozone depleting chemicals well ahead of our obligations under the Montreal Protocol.
Australia has now phased out the import and production of over 99 per cent of ozone depleting chemicals and has accelerated the phase out of ozone depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). By accelerating the phase out of HCFCs, Australia will use 60 per cent less HCFC overall than permitted under the Montreal Protocol in the period 1996 to 2020.
Australia is committed to ozone recovery through cooperative partnerships between industry, community, and all levels of domestic government. We will continue to promote research and development in ozone science and protection, promote public awareness of the Montreal Protocol, build close relationships with key industry sectors and establish long term phase out targets that give time for companies to adjust and innovate.