International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

Quick Facts - CA

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2023 DateSeptember 16, 2023
2024 DateSeptember 16, 2024

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness about the importance of preserving the ozone layer for the well-being of our planet. This observance serves to remind us of the crucial role the ozone layer plays in protecting life on Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, which can cause skin cancer, cataracts, and weaken immune systems. It also highlights the various efforts and actions undertaken by governments, organizations, and individuals around the world to protect the ozone layer by reducing and regulating the use of ozone-depleting substances.

The United Nations General Assembly designated September 16 as International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. Canada played a leading role in the development and implementation of this historic agreement, which has successfully phased out or gradually reduced the production and consumption of numerous ozone-depleting substances, thus significantly improving the state of the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol is seen as a successful example of international cooperation and is considered one of the most important climate-related agreements in modern history.

In Canada, International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is typically observed through various educational initiatives and awareness campaigns, organized by government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions. These activities often include public lectures, workshops, and online resources designed to inform Canadians about the importance of the ozone layer and the role they can play in its preservation. The nationwide observance takes place annually on September 16, emphasizing the importance of continued efforts in protecting this essential component of our atmosphere, ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.

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Facts about the Ozone Layer

  • The theme for International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer in 2020 was 30 Years of Healing the Ozone Together.
  • The natural level of ozone in the stratosphere is a result of a balance between sunlight that creates ozone and chemical reactions that destroy it.
  • The thinning of the ozone layer is caused by chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride, halons, and others. These chemicals -- often used in refrigeration, air conditioning, packaging, insulation, aerosols, and so on -- release chlorine and bromine when they come in contact with sunlight. These elements then deplete the ozone layer.
  • Canada has effectively phased out the production and consumption of key ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform. The use of these substances in refrigeration, air conditioning, foam production, and fire suppression has been significantly reduced.
  • Canada was among the key proponents of the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which sought to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances.

Top things to do in Canada for this observance

  • Watch Ozone Hole: How We Saved The Planet (2018).
  • Implement lifestyle changes that reduce your own contribution to ozone depletion. This includes using eco-friendly products, recycling properly, minimizing air pollution, and supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability.

References and related sites UN: International Day for the Preservation

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