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    UNIS/OUS/256
    16 September 2014

    Re-issued as received

    UNIDO celebrates good news on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

    VIENNA, 16 September (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - Today's International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer was warmly celebrated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the other implementing agencies of the Montreal Protocol. According to a new assessment by 300 scientists, published just last week, the ozone layer that shields the Earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing early signs of thickening after years of depletion. The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year. Scientists say the recovery is entirely due to political determination to phase out the man-made gases destroying ozone.

    The International Day commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which entered into force in 1989. The Montreal Protocol aims to help phase out a number of man-made chemicals that are Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).

    "Today is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the remarkable progress that has been achieved in reducing the damage to the ozone layer. UNIDO is very pleased that our major contribution to the implementation of the Montreal Protocol over the years is now bearing fruit," said Stephan Sicars, Director of UNIDO's Montreal Protocol Branch.

    UNIDO became an implementing agency of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol in 1992. Through the promotion of clean production, UNIDO's support has enabled industries to eliminate the use of ODS in manufacturing processes. The Organization helps industries to either replace ODS with ozone- and climate-friendly substances, or to redesign their products entirely. UNIDO's projects and programmes have helped a number of countries introduce new technologies that no longer use ODS.

    Sicars added, "The Montreal Protocol has significantly reduced the atmospheric abundance of gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons that were once used in products such as refrigerators, spray cans, insulation foam and fire extinguishers. With full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 benchmark levels - the time before significant ozone layer depletion - around the middle of the century. This is great news."

    UNIDO has been implementing ODS phase-out projects with funds from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) since 2008. These projects not only prevent the release of ODS into the atmosphere, enabling the recovery of the ozone layer, but also substantially reduce the impact on the climate.

    "UNIDO's new inclusive and sustainable industrial development mandate helps, among other things, provide countries with environmentally friendly industrial solutions with a focus on mitigating climate change and protecting the ozone layer. We are currently offering technical assistance to close to 80 countries, helping them increase their institutional and industrial capacities. We also offer sector-wide training courses, helping technicians upgrade their technical skills in the field," said Sicars.

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    To learn more of UNIDO's implementation of the Montreal Protocol, please go here

    Or watch the below videos:
    UNIDO and the Montreal Protocol
    Statue of Sky Patching Goddess Nuwa unveiled in VIC
    UNIDO and the Montreal Protocol in Morocco
    UNIDO in China: eco-friendly refrigeration
    (Chinese)
    UNIDO phasing out Chlorofluorocarbons in asthma inhalers in Mexico
    UNIDO and the MDGs - Morocco

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    For more information, please contact:
    montrealprotocol[at]unido.org