Ozone for life!

16 September 2020 | Environment

Namibia, along with the rest of the world, celebrates 35 years of the Vienna Convention and 35 years of global ozone layer protection today.
In a media release by directorate of industrial development in the ministry of industrialisation and trade, the Ozone Unit said that life on earth would not be possible without sunlight. But the energy emanating from the sun would be too much for life on Earth to thrive were it not for the ozone layer. This stratospheric layer shields earth from most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.
“In the late 1970s scientists discovered that humans were creating a hole in the ozone layer by using ozone-depleting gases (ODSs) used in aerosols and cooling appliances, such as refrigerators and air-conditioners. A depleted ozone layer increases cases of skin cancer eye cataracts, damage to plants, crops, and disrupts ecosystems.
“In 1985, Parties adopted the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. Under this Convention’s Montreal Protocol, governments, scientists and industry worked together to cut out 99% of all ozone-depleting substances. Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is healing and expected to return to pre-1980 values by mid-century.
“In support of the Protocol, the Kigali Amendment, which came into force in 2019, works towards reducing hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs), greenhouse gases with powerful climate warming potential and damaging to the environment.”
The unit said that World Ozone Day, commemorated on September 16, celebrates this achievement. “It shows that collective decisions and action, guided by science, are the only way to solve major global crises.
“In this year of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought such social and economic hardship, the ozone treaties’ message of working together in harmony and for the collective good is more important than ever. The slogan of the day, ‘Ozone for life’, reminds us that not only is ozone crucial for life on Earth, but that we must continue to protect the ozone layer for future generations.