Global cooperation to protect the ozone layer can ensure a better future for all of us

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The Montreal Protocol, the most successful environmental treaty ever, said the instrument’s adoption ended one of the greatest threats facing humanity as a whole: ozone depletion.

“When the world discovered that ozone-depleting gases used in aerosols and cooling created a hole in the air, they came together,” the agency said in a press statement, adding: “They showed that multilateralism and effective global cooperation worked. and they’ve phased out these gases, now the ozone layer is healing, allowing it to once again protect humanity from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Catastrophe averted

This action has saved millions of people over the years from skin cancer and cataracts. It allowed vital ecosystems to survive and thrive. It protected life on Earth. And it slowed climate change: If ozone-depleting chemicals weren’t banned, we’d have a global temperature rise of 2.5°C by the end of this century.

“This would have been a catastrophe,” UNEP said.

In his message on World Ozone Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the protocol was a success because, when science discovered the threat we all faced, governments and their partners took action.

“The Montreal Protocol is a powerful example of multilateralism in action. With the many challenges facing the world – from conflict to growing poverty, rising inequality and climate emergencies – it reminds us that we can succeed in working together for the common good,” the UN chief said.

The protocol has much more to offer

Mr Guterres said the Montreal Protocol has already helped address the climate crisis, and indeed, by protecting plants from ultraviolet radiation, allowing them to store life and carbon, it has prevented up to 1 degree Celsius of additional global warming. .

“The work of the protocol to phase out climate-warming gases and improve energy efficiency through the Kigali amendment could further slow down climate disruption. But only by mirroring the collaboration and swift action of the Montreal Protocol elsewhere can we stop the carbon pollution that is dangerously warming our world. We have a choice: collective action or collective suicide,” he warned.

UNEP said the Montreal Protocol has much more to offer. Under the Kigali amendment, countries have committed to phasing out hydrofluorocarbons — a measure that could prevent up to 0.4°C of global temperature rise by the end of the century. The protocol and its amendment help the world adopt climate-friendly and energy-efficient refrigeration technology.

What does this mean for humanity? UNEP said that while the international community continues to protect the ozone layer, the protocol will continue to protect us and all life on Earth.

“It also means a cooler planet as more countries ratify the amendment. It means more people have access to vital cooling technology without further heating the planet. It also means that the protocol continues to send a clear and lasting message: Global cooperation to protect life on Earth is our best chance for a better future for all,” UNEP concluded.

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