The ‘ozone layer’ is the common term for the high concentration of ozone that is found in the stratosphere above the earth’s surface. It covers and protects the entire planet by absorbing harmful Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation from the sun.
It was discovered in the late 1970s that humanity was creating a hole in the ozone layer – caused by ozone-depleting gases (ODSs) used in aerosols and cooling, such as refrigerators and air-conditioners – which was threatening to increase cases of skin cancer and cataracts, and damage plants, crops, and ecosystems.
Ozone is crucial for our life on Earth and we must continue to protect the ozone layer for our future generations. In this year of the coronavirus pandemic that has brought such social and economic hardship, the ozone treaties’ message of working together in harmony and for the collective good is more important than ever.
The government, companies, and industries must take measures to control total global production and consumption of substances that deplete the ozone layer, with the ultimate objective of elimination on the basis of developments in scientific knowledge and technological information.