Today, September 16th2022, is the International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer, a layer of stratosphere that is the second layer of the Earth’s atmosphere critical to preserve life on the planet.
There are a number of commonly used chemicals found to be extremely damaging to the Ozone Layer while they are powerful greenhouse gases as well: the most commonly used Ozone Depleting Substance is nearly 2,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its global warming potential.
The Montreal Protocol was designed as a mechanism to protect and restore the ozone layer and it has delivered positive results over the past three decades. Today, 33 years later, the ozone hole is showing its first signs of recovery. These first hopeful signs represent a global success story: policymakers, scientists and private sectors around the world joined forces to find a solution to an urgent problem.
The most recent Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion concluded that the measures under the protocol will lead to the ozone layer on the path of recovery. The cooperation we have seen under the Montreal Protocol is exactly what is needed now to take on climate change, an equally existential threat to our societies.
This Protocol is the world’s foremost global environmental governance accomplishment. It is useful to consider what lessons from its achievements might apply to tackling the climate change crisis and making the Paris Agreement work. Reducing global warming to a few degrees, the Agreement will have to emulate the Montreal Protocol’s success in drastically upping its ambition over time and accelerating the implementation of measures to achieve the intended goals.
The Islamic Republic of Iran as a member of Montreal Protocol is one of the committed countries to this mechanism. As a party operating under Article-5 of the Montreal Protocol, Iran is obligated to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) including Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in accordance with the accelerated phase-out schedule of the Montreal Protocol. HCFC chemicals are widely used in the refrigeration, foam, solvent, aerosol and firefighting industries as a transitional substance to substitute Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs). They are also used as feedstock (raw material) in the production for other chemical products.
The Department of Environment and the Ozone Layer Protection Office in cooperation with UNDP as the lead implementing agency and UNEP as the cooperating agency, have prepared a management plan to eliminate HCFCs in Iran. The HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) of Iran comprises of a combination of interventions such as investment projects for technology transfer, policies and regulations, technical assistance, training, awareness, communications and management, coordination and monitoring in various HCFC consuming sectors.
The actual importation of HCFCs in 2021 indicates that the amount of reduction in HCFCs importation (consumption) compared with the baseline (380.5 ODP tonne) is about 77.99 % cumulatively. This means that even though Iran, just like any other country does import HCFC for various uses, it is also taking effective steps to decrease the overall consumption and hopefully moving towards the complete HCFC phaseout by defined schedule.
UNDP stands ready and committed to support the Government of Iran in implementing environmental projects. The Ozone Layer and its preservation are among the topics that call for global cooperation leading to protection of life on earth.