This exciting new report gives us some environmental news to celebrate: the Ozone layer is slowly, but surely, being repaired.

Thanks to mankind’s efforts to reduce the amount of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) being introduced into the Earth’s atmosphere, scientific organizations from around the world are reporting a turning point in the fight against ozone depletion.

According to the online report that was released by the United Nations this week, the infamous hole in the ozone layer could be totally healed by the 2060s – and in some areas of the world, it could be as soon as 2030.

The report states that “for the first time, there are emerging indications that the Antarctic ozone hole has diminished in size and depth since the year 2000” and “the weight of evidence suggests that the decline in ODS made a substantial contribution to the observed trends.”

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This is good news for both the environment and our consciences. While any positive news regarding the condition of our environment is cause for celebration, we should take a moment to recognize the steps that led us to this point.

In 1987, an agreement known as the Montreal Protocol called for the elimination or significant reduction of chemicals found in consumer products like refrigerators and aerosol cans that were harmful to the ozone layer. Ditching these chemicals would result in “the avoidance of more than 280 million cases of skin cancer, approximately 1.6 million skin cancer deaths, and more than 45 million cases of cataracts in the United States alone by the end of the century,” according to the U.S. Department of State.

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The treaty was devised by the Canadian government and later ratified by the United States in 1988. Since then, the Montreal Protocol has become the first treaty to receive universal ratification from all countries of the world – and now, we have evidence that it is proving to be successful.

This just goes to show that when the leaders of the world unite for the common good and collaborate under the auspice of a shared responsibility, wonderful – even surprising – things can happen.

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