General Studies IIIEnvironment and Ecology

Global Ozone Day


India observes the 27th Global Ozone Day

Action Plan Released for implementing the recommendations of the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) for the thematic Area Space Cooling in Buildings

About Global Ozone Day:

  1. In December, 1994, the United Nations General Assembly- UNGA proclaimed September 16 as World Ozone Day.
  2. This was done to commemorate the date, in 1987, the signing of the Montreal Protocol on substances that depletes the Ozone Layer.
    1. According to the UN, the Montreal Protocol has led to the phase-out of 99% of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products.
    1. Ozone layer protection efforts have also contributed to the fight against climate change by averting an estimated 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, from 1990 to 2010.
    1. Part of the ozone layer has recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000, and it is expected to return to pre-1980 levels by 2050.

Theme Global Ozone Day 2021 is “Montreal Protocol – Keeping us, our food and vaccines cool”.

Global Conventions to Protect Ozone Layers

  1. The Vienna Convention called the Convention for the protection of the Ozone layer, came into force in 1988 and was universally ratified by 2009.

  1. It prompted the international community to establish a mechanism for cooperation to take action to protect the ozone layer.
  2. The Vienna Convention provided the framework necessary to create regulatory measures in the form of the Montreal Protocol.
  3. Montreal Protocol – is an important Multilateral Agreement on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. 
    • Its purpose is to regulate the production, consumption, and emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODSs).
    • The parties to the Protocol meet once a year to make decisions aimed at ensuring the successful implementation of the agreement. These include adjusting or amending the Protocol, which has been done six times since its creation.
    • The most recent amendment, the Kigali Amendment, called for the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in 2016.
  4. Kigali Agreement – is the 8th amendment made to Montreal Protocol. 197 member countries signed the agreement for this amendment.
    • According to the amendment, the signing countries are expected to decrease the manufacture and usage of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by about 80-85% from their baselines until 2045.
    • This will curb global warming (by arresting global average temperature rise to 0.5 degrees Celsius) by the year 2100.

India’s achievements in implementation of Montreal Protocol

India, as Party to the Montreal Protocol since June 1992, has been successfully implementing the Montreal Protocol and its ozone depleting substances phase out projects and activities in line with the phase out schedule of the Protocol.India has phased out Chlorofluorocarbons, Carbon tetrachloride, Halons, Methyl Bromide and Methyl Chloroform for controlled uses in line with the Montreal Protocol. Currently Hydrochlorofluorocarbons are being phased out as per the accelerated schedule of the Montreal Protocol.  Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage-I has been successfully implemented from 2012 to 2016 and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage-II is currently under implementation from 2017 and will be completed by 2023. 

During the on-going HCFC phase out Implementation, as a part of the long-term vison,  India has consciously chosen a path for environment friendly and energy efficient technologies India, as  one of the first amongst developing countries,  has been able to achieve the complete phase out of HCFC 141b, one of most potent ozone depleting chemicals used as a blowing agent in manufacturing of rigid foam.

Preparation of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) Stage-III will be commenced shortly, which shall address phase out of use of HCFC-22, a refrigerant used in Refrigeration and Air-conditioning manufacturing and the servicing sectors. 

Adequate attention has also been given to synergize the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning servicing sector training under the Hydrochlorofluorocarbons Phase out Management Plan (HPMP) with the Skill India Mission of the Government of India, to multiply the impact of skilling and training. The skilling and certification of service technicians will not only significant environmental benefits, but also have a positive influence on their livelihoods.

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, finalized by the Parties during 2016, shall gradually reduce the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), introduced as non-ozone depleting alternative to Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which have high global warming potential ranging from 12 to 14000.

Government of India has recently decided to Ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, once again demonstrating to the global community, India’s commitment towards protection of climate and the environment.  The Ministry will be working towards developing a National strategy for phase down of Hydrofluorocarbons, after required consultation with all the industry stakeholders.  Implementation of Hydrofluorocarbons phase down under the Kigali Amendment through the adoption of low-global warming potential and energy-efficient technologies will achieve energy efficiency gains and carbon dioxide emissions reduction – a “climate co-benefit.”  In addition, synergies with on-going government programmes and schemes of the Government of India will be promoted with the objective to maximize the economic and social co-benefits, besides environmental gains.

Energy efficiency is a major driver for technology choice under the Kigali Amendment. India has been actively pursuing in the Montreal protocol meetings to incentivize energy efficiency in use of new refrigerants and technology under the Hydrofluorocarbons phase down. There is a need to build facilitative frameworks, strengthen institutional capacity and design effective implementation models to move towards enhancing energy efficiency of equipment while lowering global warming potential of refrigerants.

The initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEF&CC) to develop an India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP), the first of its kind in the world, is to look for synergies in actions having the potential to provide socio-economic and environmental benefits related to reduced refrigerant use, climate change mitigation and Sustainable Development Goals.  The India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) recommends synergies with ongoing government programmes and schemes such as housing for all, the Smart Cities Mission, Doubling Farmers Income and Skill India Mission, to maximize socio-economic co-benefits. The Ministry has taken steps to operationalize the recommendations given in India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) along with concerned line Ministries and Government Organizations, Industry and think tanks and Academia.  Space cooling in buildings has been addressed on priority in implementation of the recommendations and the Ministry has come out with  action points relating to implementation of the recommendations.

World Ozone Day 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.

Source: PIB

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