Every year, 16 September is observed as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The day, also known as World Ozone Day, is marked to remind individuals and governments about the importance of the ozone layer to our survival on Earth.
The ozone layer helps sustain life on Earth by creating a fragile shield of gaseous protection around the planet that protects it from the harmful rays of the Sun.
In 1994,16 September was declared as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The day marks the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, in 1987, to preserve the ozone layer and prevent further damage to it.
This protocol, which curbs the use of ozone-depleting chemicals like aerosols, halons and chlorofluorocarbon, halons, was the first-ever to be ratified by all 197 members of the UN.
The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is observed to highlight the importance of the ozone layer and the ways it can be preserved. The day is used to remind citizens that they can do their own bit to protect the ozone layer, like opting for electrical appliances with ‘energy-star labels, choosing public transportation to reduce carbon footprint and so on.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres marked the occasion by stating the world desperately needs the cooperation it has seen in case of protecting the ozone layer, adding that the world can win the “race against the existential threat of climate change” by climate action.
The cooperation we have seen to successfully protect and heal the ozone layer is what we desperately need now to address the climate crisis.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) September 16, 2021
The theme for World Ozone Day this year is “Montreal Protocol – keeping us, our food and vaccines cool”. The theme seeks to highlight the importance of the protocol in combating climate change and ensure awareness of its long-term gains.