The National Ozone Unit of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has devised several strategies, including legislative amendments, in its continued efforts to assist in protecting the ozone layer.
Speaking in a JIS ‘Studio 58A’ interview about World Ozone Day, on Thursday (September 15), Manager, National Ozone Unit and National Ozone Officer at NEPA, Vivian Blake, outlined some of the other slated activities.
“Plans would include further training of our refrigeration and air conditioning technicians because information constantly evolves about these refrigerants and how to safely manipulate them in equipment. We are also looking at the certification of our technicians in international standards,” he said.
Technicians are currently trained in the handling of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), the refrigerant category now being utilised after Jamaica phased out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 2006, as Party to the Montreal Protocol.
Based on the Protocol’s schedule, developing countries also agreed to commence the process of phasing out the use of HCFCs in 2013, and will continue reduction until the complete phase-out by 2030.
“We have some legislation that we are revising that would look at the phasing out of the HCFCs, just as we had done with the CFCs. We are also looking at recovery and recycling of the refrigerants that we have to phase out,” Mr. Blake said.
The Manager pointed out that based on data collected by the Unit, Jamaica will be able to completely phase out the use of HCFCs before the 2030 schedule, since much of these elements have been replaced by hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – substitutes related to the Kigali Amendment.
Jamaica has not yet ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, but has completed an Enabling Activities Project, as the groundwork needed ahead of ratification.
Countries that have ratified the Amendment are required to reduce their average consumption of HFCs by 80 to 85 per cent by the late 2040s.
World Ozone Day 2022 is being observed on September 16 under the theme: ‘Montreal Protocol @ 35: Global Cooperation Protecting Life on Earth’.