News: The world observes the 2023 World Ozone Day with a renewed commitment to safeguarding our planet’s vital ozone layer.
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
What Is It?: World Ozone Day, officially known as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, serves as a global platform to raise awareness about the depletion of the ozone layer and the measures taken and required to address this environmental concern.
The 2023 Theme: This year’s theme focuses on the “Montreal Protocol,” highlighting its crucial role in fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change impacts.
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Significant Date: September 16th
Montreal Protocol: On this day in 1987, the Montreal Protocol came into force as an international environmental treaty, with the primary objective of phasing out ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
The Ozone Layer: Situated in the stratosphere, approximately 10 to 40 kilometers above Earth’s surface, the ozone layer plays a critical role in shielding us from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Without this protective layer, direct sun radiation would have adverse effects on human health, including eye cataracts and skin cancer, and would also impact agriculture, forestry, and marine life.
Vienna Convention (1985): The Montreal Protocol’s precursor, the Vienna Convention, laid the foundation for international cooperation on protecting the ozone layer.
Unprecedented Success: The Montreal Protocol’s success is attributed to unparalleled international cooperation in phasing out ozone-depleting substances.
India’s Remarkable Achievements
Montreal Protocol Party: India has been a party to the Montreal Protocol since June 1992.
Phasing Out ODS: India has successfully phased out several ozone-depleting substances, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride, halons, methyl bromide, and methyl chloroform by January 1, 2010.
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs): India has accelerated the phase-out of HCFCs under an ambitious schedule, achieving substantial reductions.
HCFC Phase-Out Management Plan (HPMP): India’s HPMP Stage-II (2017-2024) has already witnessed the phased-out of HCFC-141b, contributing to significant CO2 emission reductions.
Future Goals: India is committed to further phasing out HCFCs in new equipment by December 31, 2024, with substantial CO2 emission reductions targeted by 2030.
ODS Alternatives: Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
HFCs as Alternatives: Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have been widely adopted as alternatives to ozone-depleting substances, especially in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector.
Kigali Amendment (2016): The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, ratified by India in September 2021, brings HFCs under control and outlines a phasedown plan starting in 2032.
Initiated in March 2019: ICAP emphasizes the synergy between socio-economic benefits, climate change mitigation, and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
Mapped Recommendations: ICAP’s thematic areas encompass space cooling in buildings, the cold chain, domestic manufacturing, research and development, servicing, and implementation to support India’s climate action.
Ministry’s Initiative: India is actively promoting indigenous capabilities for the development of low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants.
Collaboration: The Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, collaborates with eight Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to engage research scholars in the development of low GWP chemicals.
Celebrating Ozone Day in India
Ozone Cell’s Efforts: The Ozone Cell, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has been celebrating World Ozone Day in India since 1995, with activities conducted at both national and state levels.