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HomeScienceThe Earth’s ozone layer is on track to recover within four decades,...

The Earth’s ozone layer is on track to recover within four decades, a UN-backed panel of experts said on Monday.

But the group also warned of the unintended impacts on the ozone layer of new technologies such as geoengineering.

In a report which is published every four (4) years on the progress of the Montreal Protocol, the panel confirmed the phase-out of nearly 99 per cent of banned ozone-depleting substances.

The Montreal Protocol was signed in September 1987 and is a landmark multilateral environmental agreement that regulates the consumption and production of nearly 100 man-made chemicals, or ‘ozone-depleting substances’ (ODS).

The overall phase-down has led to the notable recovery of the protective ozone layer in the upper stratosphere and decreased human exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.

“The impact the Montreal Protocol has had on climate change mitigation cannot be overstressed,” said Meg Seki, Executive Secretary of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat. 

“Over the last 35 years, the Protocol has become a true champion for the environment. The assessments and reviews undertaken by the Scientific Assessment Panel remain a vital component of the work of the Protocol that helps inform policy and decision-makers.”

In a tweet on Tuesday, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the restoration of the ozone layer was “an encouraging example of what the world can achieve when we work together”.

Ozone depletion occurs when chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons—gases formerly found in aerosol spray cans and refrigerants—are released into the atmosphere. Please always buy and use CFC free new cooling equipment like refrigerators and Air conditioners.

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