2.5. Ozone layer protection
Ozone (in Greece ozün - smelling) or trioxygen is allotrophic modification
O3 of oxygen. Ozone is very contradictory and important
gas for the living nature. In stratosphere ozone moleculas form layer,
that protects living nature against lethal amount of ultraviolet radiation.
According to recently made researches diminishing amount of ozone
in stratosphere layer during 10 years in winter 5% and in summer 1-3%.
Depletion of ozone layer is caused also by human activities - mainly
by using freons and halons in refrigerators, fire extinguishers, electronic
industry etc. Freons are very inert gases and will last in stratosphere
for decades. In nineties several decisions have been taken in international
basis for replacement of freons and finishing their use.
"Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer" was concluded on March 22, 1985 and
"Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete Ozone Layer" (further Montreal Protocol) accompanying this convention on September 16, 1987. Estonia joined these international agreements in 1996.
Montreal Protocol together with the convention of climate change is one priority of environment protection in the world as well as in Europe.
Montreal Protocol has been amended four times - in 1990 in London, in 1992 in Copenhagen, in 1997 in Montreal and in 1999 in Beijing. Estonia ratified London and Copenhagen amendments of Montreal Protocol in 1999. By now 173 have joined the Vienna Convention, 172 countries Montreal Protocol, 136 countries London amendments, 101 countries Copenhagen amendments and 26 countries Montreal amendments. Following legal acts have been adopted for the enactment of the law of joining of 1990 London amendments and 1992 Copenhagen amendments of Montreal Protocol in Estonia:
1) Regulation no. 146 of the Government of the Republic from May 6, 1999:
"Establishing requirements for controlling substances depleting the ozone
2) Regulation no. 43 of the Minister of the Environment from April 13, 1999:
"Procedure for applying for and granting of approval for the production, export, import or transit of substances depleting the ozone layer or of the product containing such
3) "State programme of gradual elimination of ozone layer decomposing substances from
use" was certified with the order no. 531-k of the Government of the Republic from May 4, 1999.
Main goal of the programme is implementation of international responsibilities proceeding from the above mentioned acts and solution of tasks proceeding from other above mentioned legal acts, in order to protect health of people and the environment from damage arising from the decomposing of ozone layer.
No ozone layer deplending substances are manufactured in Estonia. Their total consumption in 1995 was 159.2 tons, which is corresponding to 131.2 ODP tons (Ozone Deplention Potential); corresponding figure in 1996 was 73.9 tons or 36.5 ODP tons. From 1986 to 1996 the consumption of ozone layer deplending substances decreased by 81%. In 1998 their consumption increased by 23.5 ODP tons compared to the year 1996, which was caused by the use of amortized cooling equipment (figure 2.27). Consumption forecast is given in table 2.11, which shows that consumption of ozone layer deplenting substances in Estonia can be ended. By 2002 Estonia would reach the level, achieved by member states of the European Union by January 1, 1996.
Table 2.11. Consumption of ozone layer deplending substances in 1986-1998 and forecast until 2002. (Numeric data have been re-calculated into ODP tons).
Figure 2.27. Consumption of Annex A and B substances and the GEF Project in Estonia from 1996 to 2002.