Delta state government weekend joined the international community to commemorate the international day for the preservation of the ozone layer with activities to create needed awareness among residents of the state.
He called on Deltans to reawaken their consciousness that the ozone layer is crucial to life on earth, hence “we must continue to protect the ozone layer and at the same time, take positive steps in addressing the present climate challenges for the protection of life on earth for our future generations.”
This was made known by the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Jamani Tommy Ejiro, while briefing journalists on the awareness programme by the Delta state government.
The commissioner called on all Deltans and other residents to, among other issues, conduct regular inspection and maintenance of air- conditioning and refrigeration appliances to prevent and minimize refrigerant leakage, embrace renewable energy and practices that promote energy efficiency and buy aerosol products that do not use HCFCs, CFCs and HFCs as propellants.
He also listed embracing sustainable land use options, purchasing of recycled products wherever possible; and using less global warming alternatives in production such as Ammonia, Co2 as part of strategies to combat ozone layer destruction.
He said the state government through the Ministry of Environment will organize a sensitization workshop with participants from all works of life, particularly members of Association of Refrigerators & Air Condition Practitioners, students, artisans, CSOs/NGOs, civil servants from various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on preserving the ozone layer.
He noted that there will also be awareness creation through radio and television jingles and the dissemination of messages on climate change and the protection of the ozone layer through information, education and communication materials.
In the speech delivered during the media interaction, Jamani noted: “Today September 16, 2023 marks the International Day for the preservation of the Ozone Layer. The United Nations General Assembly on the 19th of December, 1994 made a proclamation that September 16 of every year should be observed as the International day for the preservation of the Ozone layer to commemorate the date when the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987. The day is commonly known and called ‘’World Ozone Day
“Life on earth would not be possible without sunlight. However, the energy emanating from the sun would be too much for life on earth to thrive were it not for the ozone layer. The ozone layer is a thin part of the Earth’s atmosphere serving as a shield that absorbs almost all of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light.
“Scientist in mid- 1980s discovered holes in the Ozone layer above the Antarctic region of the earth’s atmosphere, attributing the ozone depletion to man- made chemicals known as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Hydro-Chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and other halogens used in air-conditioners, refrigerators, aerosol cans and fumigants.
“ODS were also used in the production of insulation foams as well as solvents to clean electronic and other appliances whilst spray cans were propelled by CFCs posing serious threats and resulting in detrimental effects such as in low/poor yield in cultivated crops, skin cancer, cataracts, impaired immune system, damage to marine ecosystem (loss of phytoplankton) –the basis of food reserve in the ocean, global warming and climate change .The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer adopted in 1987 is a landmark multilateral environmental agreement that regulates the production and consumption of nearly 100 man-made chemicals (Ozone Depleting Substances- ODS).
“Implementation of the Montreal Protocol has led to the phase out of 99% of Ozone depleting substances in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products. The unique nature of the protocol is its flexibility to respond to new scientific information and it is now full knowledge that some substances used to replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydro-Chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), known as Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) are very powerful greenhouse gases which are more than a thousand times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change.
“This finding has led to the amendment of the Montreal Protocol to include HFCs (Kigali Amendment). The Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol entered into force on the 1st January, 2019 and it is expected that a successful phase down of HFCs is in tandem to achieving the Paris Agreement because it will avoid a 0.5 degree Celsius of global temperature rise by 2100.
“Hence the theme for the 2023 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is Montreal Protocol: fixing the Ozone Layer and reducing climate change
“The message for this year’s commemoration is clear: for nearly 4 decades, the Montreal Protocol has been instrumental – and will continue to be instrumental – in protecting human health, nature and the climate. Also, the universal rectification and full implementation of the Kigali Amendment are crucial for the phasing down of HFCs and finding safe and environmentally friendly alternatives to HFCs while increasing the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.
“World Ozone Day is observed every year to spread awareness among people and bring attention of Industries, Government Agencies, Academia, Policy Makers, Students and the general public to the depletion of the Ozone Layer and possible solutions to preserve it.”