“The world has changed since we last marked International Ozone Day,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his message marking International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, noting the 2015 adoption of both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Now, we must turn ambition into action, and strengthen climate protection by harnessing the power of the Montreal Protocol [on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer] to make progress in slowing the near-term warming caused by hydrofluorocarbons [HFCs], the fastest growing of the greenhouse gases,” the Secretary-General stated.
The Secretary-General noted that HFCs, while once embraced as an effective alternative to ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, have now been proven to also be extremely potent greenhouse gas. The Secretary-General called on countries to participate in next month’s meeting in Rwanda where nations will discuss the phasing out of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.
“On this International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, let us remember how much has already been accomplished, and commit to do more to protect our atmosphere. By working together, we can build a safer, healthier, more prosperous and resilient world for all people while protecting our planet, our only home.”
Image: In November 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Torres Del Paine in Chile and King George Island in Antarctica to witness the effects of climate change | Image Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe