Ozone Layer Hole
Based on scientific findings on the cause of ozone layer depletion, international community has catalysed global action to protect the ozone layer resulting in the adoption of the Vienna Convention in 1985 and Montreal Protocol in 1987. India became the party to the Vienna Convention on 19th June, 1991 and to the Montreal Protocol on 17th September 1992 and ratified all its amendments.
As per the scientific studies, it is expected that the ozone layer will be fully recovered to the pre-1980 level by 2050. Although, the production and consumption of major Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) responsible for depletion of ozone layer have already been phased-out, still some of these chemicals which were released globally earlier are still active in the stratosphere because of their long atmospheric life, thus this necessitates some time for complete recovery of the ozone layer. The size of Antarctic ozone layer hole measured in October 2010 was 22.2 million square kilometer, while the size reported in 2009 and 2008 were 24 million square kilometer and 27 million square kilometer respectively. This clearly indicates that the global efforts made including by India through the Montreal Protocol for the protection of the ozone layer are in the right direction and the Ozone Layer is on the path of recovery.
A number of research institutions and individual scientists both from within the country and non-resident Indian scientists have made contributions towards the phase out ODSs and recovery of Ozone layer. Indian industry has played a key role in phasing-out the production and consumption of major ODSs like Chloroflurocarbons (CFCs), Carbontetrachloride (CTC) and Halons with effect from 1.1.2010.
A number of steps have been taken including the fiscal and regulatory measures for implementation of the Montreal Protocol for the phase out of ODSs in the country. The technical and financial support for ODS phase-out activities to the Industry are directly provided by the Montreal Protocol.
The next task ahead is the phase-out of production and consumption of next category of chemicals known as Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) with an accelerated phase-out schedule adopted by the Montreal Protocol.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply to a question by Shri Badri Ram Jakhar in Lok Sabha today.