World Ozone Day (GS-3 Conservation, Environmental Pollution)

ContextThe International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer (or World Ozone Day) is observed every year on September 16 for the preservation of the Ozone Layer.

Theme: Montreal Protocol – Keeping us, our food, and vaccines cool.

History:-

In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

About Ozone

The United Nations defines ozone layer as “a fragile shield of gas that protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.

It is a form of oxygen with the chemical formula O3. The oxygen required to sustain life on earth is in O2 form. Most of the ozone resides high up in the atmosphere, between 10 and 40km above Earth’s surface. This region is called the stratosphere which is the second layer after the troposphere, and it contains about 90% of all the ozone in the atmosphere.

Classification of Ozone 

Ozone can be classified into Good Ozone And Bad Ozone

Good Ozone– Ozone occurs naturally in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (Stratosphere) where it forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This “good” ozone is gradually being destroyed by anthropogenic activities referred to as Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS), which includes chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform.

Bad Ozone– In the Earth’s lower layers of atmosphere near ground level, ozone is formed when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight and transform as a harmful air pollutant.

Montreal Protocol 

It was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances(ODS) in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer.

  • The original Montreal Protocol was agreed on 16 September 1987 and entered into force on 1 January 1989.

  • The Protocol includes one of a kind adjustment provision that enables the Parties to the Protocol to respond quickly to new scientific information and agree to accelerate the reductions required on chemicals already covered by the Protocol.These adjustments are then automatically applicable to all countries that ratified the Protocol.

  • In 2016 as a continuation of the global effort the Parties to the Montreal Protocol reached agreement at their 28th Meeting of the Parties in Kigali, Rwanda to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

  • The Indian Government has sanctioned the ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

  • Moreover, 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.

Conclusion

World Ozone Day plays a major role in highlighting the steps to protect the ozone layer. Moreover, it spreads awareness about the importance of the ozone layer and steps that should be taken to preserve it. 

By:- Anshum Verma

Plutus IAS Daily Current Affairs 17th September 2021