“The Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment show us that by acting together, anything is possible. So let us act now to slow climate change, feed the world’s hungry and protect the planet that we all depend on.” António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General
We don’t often or at all think about the things we can’t see that are essential to life on Earth – microorganisms that break down our waste, and the layer of gases in our atmosphere trapping and reflecting the sun’s energy, as well as the layer that keeps out harmful ultraviolet radiation. In the layer around the Earth’s surface (the troposphere), ground level or harmful ozone pollutes the air causing smog. In the upper layer (the stratosphere), good ozone protects life on earth by absorbing some of the ultra violet (UV) rays given out by the sun.
In the 1970s, scientists began finding clues that the ozone layer was being depleted over the region of Antarctica. Since then, they have proved that every year in spring, when the ozone depletion process is at its highest, at least 50% of the ozone layer is destroyed over Antarctica: this is called the ‘ozone hole’. Unfortunately, since then evidence has been made that the ozone layer was also being severely depleted over the northern pole of the globe, which means we have to talk about the ‘ozone holes’ now.
On September 16, 2022, Guyana, a party to the Montreal Protocol, will join countries around the world in celebrating the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer or Ozone Day, under the theme “Montreal Protocol @35: Global Cooperation Protecting Life On Earth”. Guyana’s implementation of the Protocol and its amendments is facilitated with the cooperation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with funding support from the MultiLateral Fund (MLF). Guyana’s implementation of the Protocol also adds to its efforts in promoting sustainable development, and thus is in tandem with the goals of the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), in reducing the use of the HCFCs and other Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) of high global warming potential (GWP), while replacing these with energy efficient alternatives.
Guyana has phased out the use of CFCs and other ODSs, and is now preparing to reduce consumption of HCFC 22 (used in air conditioners and ice making machines) in order to phase out these ODS by 2030. The training of scores of customs officers in the monitoring and controlling of the imports of ODSs, and trained hundreds of refrigeration and air condition technicians in good practices and alternative refrigerants, provided tools for use by technicians and technical institutes in Regions 2, 4, 6 and 10.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or where in the world you live, when it comes to protecting the environment you can all make a difference; every action counts! The future of the planet is in your hands.
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