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A celebration of ‘32 years and Healing’ took place in September
In September, the ‘International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer’ was observed to celebrate the last 32 years of international cooperation that has led to remarkable achievements in ozone layer protection under the Montreal Protocol.
The Montreal Protocol was signed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987, with the aim to phase-out and gradually completely eliminate all ozone-depleting substances – in particular, halocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons.
Three decades later, the protocol has led to the phase-out of 99% of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and more. These significant efforts have resulted in the recovery of parts of the ozone layer at a rate of 1-3% per decade, as shown in the latest 2018 Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion. At the projected rates, the UN predicts the gradual healing of all parts of the ozone around the globe by 2060.
On 16 September 2019, the UN’s International Day provided the opportunity to not only emphasise the success of international efforts to preserve the ozone layer to date, but also to highlight how environmental policymakers and country leaders must continue to maintain these healing rates through firm elimination of illegal sources of ozone-depleting substances whenever they arise.
Importantly, the ‘Kigali Amendment’ was added to the protocol at the start of the year, to focus on the phasing-down of hydrofluorocarbons that can substantially warm the climate. As well a marker for celebration, the day importantly stood as a reminder for policymakers and scientists alike that this new amendment must be supported to achieve the greater environmental benefits initially envisioned 32 years ago at the signing of the UN’s protocol.
EURAMET is a key contributor to efforts to protect the ozone layer. EURAMET’s European Metrology Network (EMN) for Climate and Ocean Observation coordinates efforts and formulates strategies to ensure the continued development of innovative measurement tools; required to support climate research into the ozone and the Earth’s atmosphere. The EMN for Climate and Ocean Observation will help to make sure that Europe remains a key leader in international action on climate change.
EURAMET proudly supports many collaborative research projects through the European Metrology Research Programmes (EMRP and EMPIR), which advance measurement capabilities and provide a stable foundation for continued innovation and research in many scientific areas. Projects contributing to preservation of the ozone layer include:
- Metrology for high-impact greenhouse gases (ENV52, Highgas)
- Traceability for surface spectral solar ultraviolet radiation (ENV03 Solar UV)
- Traceability for atmospheric total column ozone (ENV59 ATMOZ)
EMPIR projects are co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.
EMRP joint research projects are part of EURAMET’s European Metrology Research Programme. The EMRP is jointly funded by the EMRP participating countries within EURAMET and the European Union.
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