The ozone layer is 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.
“The phase-out of controlled uses of ozone depleting substances and the related reductions have not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations, but have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change,” says Deidré Penfold, Executive Director of the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA). It has also protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching Earth.
The United Nations’ International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated on 16 September every year.
“The ozone layer, by protecting Earth from the sun's harmful rays, helps to preserve life on the planet. As such, it is very important that we protect the ozone layer from harmful ozone-depleting substances like HCFC emissions and powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to the thinning of the layer,” says Penfold.
HCFC emissions are nearly 2 000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in adding to global warming, and although much has been achieved, the successful reduction of HCFC emissions remains one of the United Nation’s greatest challenges. The gradual phasing out of controlled uses of ozone-depleting substances has contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change. As a result, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching Earth.
The theme for 2018 is “Keep Cool and Carry on”.