Ozone day and obligation of Pakistan government
Pakistan`s efforts to protect ozone day date back to 1992 when it signed and ratified Montreal Protocol according to which pronounced efforts were required by each member state to minimize the production of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) for the protection of ozone layer. A cursory glance from Pakistan`s perspective show it`s not ODS producing country in fact relies on import of such substances to overcome industrial needs; therefore, Pakistan`s role to phase out the ODS was to adapt advance Ozone friendly technologies as an alternative and cut ODS imports significantly. Did that actually happen? What measures Pakistan took to become a vigilant practitioner in advocating Montreal Protocol? Initially, steadfast efforts from Pakistan authorities were seen in the form of establishment of Ozone Cell in Ministry of Environment (Ministry of Climate Change now) in 1996; Pakistan converted 04 CFC-based projects into Ozone friendly technology which have completely phased out Ozone Depleting Substances (CFC, CTC, Halon gas, Methyl Bromide and Methyl Chloroform). Despite these impressive successes we must not become complacent. The efforts shouldn`t lack luster because of the previous aggrandizing track record, the debate on the ozone layer has not ebbed. Hydrochlorophloro carbon (HCFC) phasing out efforts are the roll which are not up to the mark as CFC curbing projects were. Fear hovers that can it overshadow the previous remarkable achievements of Pakistan? Will the situation become stale and HCFC will still be used in industries? Will the goals of sustainable development be achieved by virtue of such zigzag timelines of high and low threshold of efforts from government and concerned departments? The greater work in past triggers Pakistan more to lead the adaptation of Montreal Protocol and become a spearhead in the region to curtail depletion of ozone layer and widely recognized as ozone protection vanguard. The climate change patterns which are devastating the country already and bleeding the economy in form of floods, droughts let Pakistan to move at such slow pace in terms of ozone protection and lag behind from such a winning and emphatic position? Will the government and Ministry of Climate Change realize prioritize the issue and appoint the competent person on chair of the vacant seat of National Programme Manager, Ozone Cell, that is already yelling loud its importance? Due to this a lot of activities are on hold and pending. It is time to show more responsibility by adapting environmental and ozone friendly protocols and practices for the sake of protection of country and avoid the impacts of global warming by materializing simple, pragmatic and viable steps on individuals and state level because one person or entity will not be a sufferer in fact all previous efforts may be washed and brushed off if not actively followed the previous pace and curtail HCFC import.