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Women in science for ozone protection

Women in Science

International Day of Women and Girls in Science was marked globally on 11 February. This year’s theme was “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth”. To commemorate the day, two women in science who have made significant contributions to the cause of ozone layer protection shared their stories.  

‘A career in science is just about the greatest career that you can have’

Interview with Susan Solomon, professor of environmental studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and winner of the 2018 Crafoord Prize, on the occasion of the 2019 International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Read more.

‘We need more women supporting women’

Interview with María del Carmen Cazorla, director of the Institute for Atmospheric Research at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, on the occasion of the 2019 International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Read more.

 

Keep Cool and Carry On: Protecting our ozone layer and climate on World Ozone Day

Ozone day poster

The Montreal Protocol, the international treaty that saved the ozone layer, has been keeping our planet cool for years by phasing out ozone-depleting substances that are also potent global-warming gases.

On 16 September 2018, World Ozone Day, the secretariat of the Protocol will urge everyone to Keep Cool and Carry On by celebrating the work so far, continuing to protect the ozone layer and accelerating action to take an even-bigger bite out of climate change.

“The theme for this year’s World Ozone Day is a rallying call urging all of us to carry on with the exemplary work under the Montreal Protocol,” said Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary of the Montreal Protocol’s secretariat. “We can be proud of how we have protected the ozone layer and the climate, but we must also focus on what more we can do to reduce global warming under the Kigali Amendment.”

Parties to the Protocol, and anybody else who wishes to do so, can organize events to commemorate World Ozone Day. The theme and tagline of the day in all six official UN languages are available on the secretariat’s website, along with free-to-use posters. The theme has two connotations – that our work of protecting the ozone layer also protects climate and that the Montreal Protocol is a “cool” treaty, as exemplified by its outstanding achievements as the world’s most-successful international convention.

The Montreal Protocol came into being over 30 years ago in response to the revelation that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances – used in aerosols, refrigeration systems and many other items – were tearing a hole in the ozone layer and allowing dangerous ultraviolet radiation to flood through.

Under the Protocol, nations slashed the production and use of these substances, which were also greenhouse gases and so major contributors to global warming. As a result, the ozone layer is now healing and will return to 1980 levels by mid-century. Up to 2 million cases of skin cancer may be prevented each year by 2030, and the planet is cooler than it would otherwise have been.

The Montreal Protocol will continue to regulate ozone-depleting substances while also contributing more to the fight against global warming through the Kigali Amendment, which enters into force on 1 January 2019. This amendment is expected to avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming by the end of the century, while continuing to protect the ozone layer.

The Kigali Amendment allows the Protocol to target a reduction in the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which became widely used substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. HFCs are also powerful climate-warming gases. Countries that ratify the Kigali Amendment have committed to cutting the production and consumption of HFCs by more than 80 per cent over the next 30 years and replacing them with planet-friendly alternatives.

However, the responsibility to protect the ozone layer and climate doesn’t lie with governments alone. Individuals can do their part by using their refrigerators, air conditioners and other equipment responsibly. By properly using, servicing and disposing of these appliances, you can minimize energy use and emissions, and save money. For tips on how to do so, visit the What You Can Do section of this website.

For more information on how to celebrate World Ozone Day, or to tell the Secretariat about events you may be planning, send an email to stephanie.haysmith[at]un.org.

Ozone Secretariat launches new website

Landscape

The Ozone Secretariat has launched a new website to support parties to the Montreal Protocol and to inform ordinary citizens about what they can do in their everyday lives about the hole in the ozone layer.


The new Ozone and You section provides useful information on how individuals can protect themselves from ultraviolet radiation, help protect the ozone layer and minimize climate change – such as avoiding excessive sun exposure, maintaining appliances and ensuring cooling systems are not set to unnecessarily low temperatures.

The treaty’s inner workings and history are simply explained and all of the latest developments laid out.

The new site allows far easier access to comprehensive data on progress in cutting ozone-depleting and climate-warming substances under the Protocol. It also includes country profiles that show the state of play in each individual nation.

Information on upcoming meetings and events is easily accessible, and all decisions that have been taken so far by the parties – the 197 nations that have ratified the ozone treaties can be browsed by meeting, by article of the Protocol to which they relate, and by issue.   

The Montreal Protocol was set up in 1987 to slash the production and use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other substances – used in more than 200 sectors including aerosols, refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, aviation, agriculture and insulation – that were depleting the ozone layer.

 

Parties cut out these substances, putting the ozone layer on the road to recovery and protecting human health and the environment.

 

The Protocol, through its new Kigali Amendment which will enter into force on 1 January 2019, now also targets a reduction in the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These compounds became widely used substitutes for ozone-depleting substances, but are climate-warming gases.

Explore the site and find out exactly why the work of the Montreal Protocol is so important.