Protecting the Ozone Layer; Protecting the Global Environment

Protecting the Ozone Layer; Protecting the Global Environment
[Photo: Shashank Jayaprasad/UNDP India]

India signed and ratified the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1991 and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1992, signalling the country’s commitments to the global cause of addressing the harmful effects of the ozone layer depletion. 

Highlights

  • Since 1993, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has played a crucial role in the phase- out of ozone depleting substances by the Government of India and has been instrumental in implementing US$ 40 million in multilateral fund projects.
  • As a result of support, India completely phased out production and consumption of Chlorofluorocarbons, carbon tetrachloride and halons, man-made chemicals responsible for the depletion of the Ozone Layer. This remarkable milestone was achieved two years ahead of schedule. With this achievement, India has contributed significantly to this global environmental cause, by reducing 25,000 ozone depleting particles tonnes and a further potential of 23,000 ozone depleting particles.
  • carbon tetrachloride, a harmful chemical is used by some of the largest steel manufacturing units in the country, to clean steel. Today, many steel companies, including the country’s largest public sector undertaking in the steel sector, use tetrachloroethene which is less harmful for the environment.
  • manufacturers of metered dose inhalers have completely transitioned to ozone-friendly and affordable alternatives, demonstrating the potential for environment-friendly public health management in the country.
  • As a next step, UNDP is supporting the Government of India in phasing out Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 2030, as part of the country’s commitment to the Montreal Protocol.

Since 1993, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has played a crucial role in the phase- out of ozone depleting substances by the Government of India and has been instrumental in implementing US$ 40 million in multilateral fund projects. As a result of support, India completely phased out production and consumption of Chlorofluorocarbons, carbon tetrachloride and halons, man-made chemicals responsible for the depletion of the Ozone Layer. This remarkable milestone was achieved two years ahead of schedule. With this achievement, India has contributed significantly to this global environmental cause, by reducing 25,000 ozone depleting particles tonnes and a further potential of 23,000 ozone depleting particles. 

UNDP has also supported close consultations with industry through the Ozone Cell, a separate unit within the Ministry of Environment and Forests dedicated to protecting the ozone layer, to ensure phase-out in harmony with the country’s National Industrial Development Strategy. Updates to the strategy has focused on lessons learnt, and outlining of measures to phase out remaining ozone depleting substances in the country. 

The second phase of collaboration between UNDP and the Government in 2000-2010 supports the phase out of other ozone-depleting chemicals in a diverse range of industries. For example, carbon tetrachloride, a harmful chemical is used by some of the largest steel manufacturing units in the country, to clean steel. Today, many steel companies, including the country’s largest public sector undertaking in the steel sector, use tetrachloroethene which is less harmful for the environment. 

Results are also visible in the medical sector. India produces and exports millions of metered dose inhalers each year, providing relief to countless people suffering from asthma. With UNDP support, manufacturers of metered dose inhalers have completely transitioned to ozone-friendly and affordable alternatives, demonstrating the potential for environment-friendly public health management in the country. The country is now focusing attention on phasing out such chemicals in foam, refrigeration and halon sector. As a next step, UNDP is supporting the Government of India in phasing out (HCFCs) by 2030, as part of the country’s commitment to the Montreal Protocol. 

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