In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (resolution 49/114).
States were invited to devote the Day to promote activities in accordance with the objectives of the Protocol and its amendments. The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.
This year’s theme of the international day is “HCFC phase-out: a unique opportunity”.
HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) are both ozone-depleting substances and powerful greenhouse gases: the most commonly used HCFC is nearly 2,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in adding to global warming. By agreeing to speed up the phase-out of HCFCs, Parties to the Montreal Protocol increased their already-substantial contributions to protecting the global climate system.