It may not be the cause of the moment, but during the mid-1980s the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer was the cause of much alarm.
To try to help patch that hole and preserve the ozone layer, an international treaty called the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on 16 September 1987. It banned the use of chloroflurocarbons – or CFCs as they are commonly called – used as coolants in refrigerants and aerosol cans, because scientists determined these led to the creation of the hole.
In Iran, the protocol’s anniversary was celebrated on 22nd September with an event at the Department of Environment. Its theme: “A healthy atmosphere, the future we want.”
Speaking at the event, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Gary Lewis delivered a message from UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon that said: "Extraordinary challenges require extraordinary responses. A generation ago, the world’s nations agreed to act definitively to protect the ozone layer, initiating an inter-governmental process that blazed new trails.”
Mr. Lewis commended Iran for implementing the Montreal Protocol, but added that environmental issues, especially climate change, are still of great concern and pose immense challenges.
“We must ‘decarbonize’ the global economy in order to reduce the impact of climate change,” said Mr. Lewis. “We must mitigate the impact of climate change through emission reductions, or we will be forced – in the decades to come – to adapt through some form of geo-engineering.”
Also attending the event were environmental experts, and UN and government officials including the newly appointed Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Department of Environment Ms. Masoumeh Ebtekar.
In her speech, Ms. Ebtekar emphasized on the readiness of her government to work and cooperate with the international community to combat environmental issues. More specifically she emphasized the need for “environmental diplomacy” in order to overcome the challenges we face.