World Ozone Layer Day: go get chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons!
Thanks to the entry into force of the Montreal Protocol, the World Ozone Layer Day has been held since September 16 every year. A day of awareness that, like the international treaty it commemorates, aims to protect this layer of the stratosphere. And in this, chlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons play a fundamental role.
Nine years after the entry into force of the Montreal Protocol, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed in its resolution 49/114 September 16th as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. From that moment, this day has been used to celebrate the enormous benefits that the protocol has for the planet.
“The initial goal of the Montreal protocol was the elimination of so-called chlorofluorocarbons. Now the Kigali amendment goes further and extends it to hydrofluorocarbons.
Since its universal ratification, the protocol has been highly successful in its initial objective of eliminating the production and use of chlorofluorocarbon compounds (CFCs) and other substances that destroy the ozone layer, achieving a significant reduction.
However, it is necessary to maintain a constant attention to the evolution of the emissions of these components. Without going any further, the Scientific Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol has recently published findings that show that there has been a setback in the eradication of CFC-11 gas, and the available data suggest that the problem is located in East Asia.
It is imperative to take decisive action to prevent any illegal consumption or production of this type, so that the Scientific Evaluation Panel and the Technology Assessment Group are preparing detailed reports on atmospheric monitoring of CFC-11, its dispersion model and sources specific issues, as well as possible pre-existing deposits.
The next follow-up milestone will be the Thirtieth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP30), to be held during November 2018. In addition, this meeting will serve to encourage countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment, with a view to phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
“The celebration of the day of the ozone layer seeks to contribute to the preservation of this layer of the stratosphere and to build a sustainable future for life on our planet.
These compounds were initially promoted by the Montreal Protocol as an alternative to other substances that depleted the ozone layer. However, it was later shown that these substitutes had a high global warming potential, so they should no longer be considered as a viable option.
Through the program to reduce production and consumption of HFCs of the amendment, some 80,000 million tons of CO2 equivalent will be released by 2050, thus avoiding a temperature increase of approximately 0.5ºC between now and 2100. In this way, the amendment will contribute fully to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
We are clearly at a critical moment in the struggle to restore the ozone layer. We must all be aware that the war is not yet won and that we will not achieve a happy ending unless all countries join forces and work towards the same goal, which should be no other than to work for a sustainable future for life in our planet.