United Nations, New York, USA, September 13 2017 – Sean Southey, CEO of PCI Media Impact During the 2017 Media For Social Impact Summit, Organized by the United Nations Office for Partnerships & PVBLIC Foundation today at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
by Britta Schmitz
UNITED NATIONS, October 2 2017 – UN Environment has launched a new campaign, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. The campaign features a comic book named #OzoneHeroes, created by PCI Media Impact in cooperation with Marvel Comics.
Signed by 197 supporters (196 states and the European Union) on 16 September 1987, the Montreal Protocol was the first universal treaty developed to mitigate climate change. As a result, more than 99 % of ozone-depleting substances have been eliminated and the ozone layer is expected to recover around the year 2050.
“The 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol is a milestone for all people and our planet. When scientists found that everyday products where destroying the fragile ozone layer, the world responded with the Montreal Protocol,” said Secretary-General António Guterres in a video address on the anniversary.
#OzoneHeroes is co-produced by Comics Uniting Nations, an initiative started in 2015 to create a comic on each of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The comic centers on the well-known and beloved Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man characters and their discovery that humans were the ones who solved the ozone layer crisis,“ Dr. Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary of UNEP, told Europa Newswire.
Since the dangerous depletion of the ozone layer has slowly diminished from our global awareness, the comic is aimed at younger generations born after the 1980s, who will be responsible for our planet in the future.
“We hope that the story of the healing of the ozone layer is made accessible to a broad and younger audience. The comic story is hooked to the ozoneheroes.org website, which allows people to take a quiz to discover their own superpower, share on social media, and take further action to help protect the ozone layer,“ said Birmpili. “UNICEF’s World’s Largest Lesson will be featuring the comic as an educational resource, making it available to millions of children in thousands of classes across 160 countries.“
“The Montreal Protocol has been successful because of the right science, an agreement on finance and technology, united and concerted actions and a global partnership with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and people in the field who have believed in the global treaty,“ said Birmpili. It “is an integral part of the SDGs as it shows in practice how a targeted environmental policy contributes to many different goals.“
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Montreal Protocol may have prevented up to 2 million cases of skin cancer globally each year by 2030, and it averted more than 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from 1990 to 2010.
“The Protocol helps combat poverty, address climate change and protect the future. The treaty also creates new business opportunities and it will save the global economy over 2 trillion dollars by 2050,” said Guterres.
Nevertheless, there is still a lot of work ahead and the restoration process of the ozone layer is still in progress. Other ozone-depleting substances, used as replacements for many chemicals being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, have emerged. Among them are Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), strong greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming. By the year 2100, a successful HFC phase down is expected to avoid up to 0.5 degree Celsius of global temperature rise.
“We do not need Spidey powers or alien technologies to solve the world’s pressing problems. We do need collaboration, partnership, commitment and guts. We are all #OzoneHeroes and capable of overcoming immense difficulties to achieve goals for the benefit of everyone on Earth,“ said Birmpili.