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Depletion of the ozone layer | 08 July 2019

The Kigali Amendment

 

Seychelles is in line with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase-down Hydro Fluoro Carbon (HFC) gases, primarily used in air conditioning, refrigeration and foam insulation now that the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Assembly have endorsed andratified the amendment.

Under the Kigali Amendment, countries need to ratify the amendment to ensure legal preparedness by adjusting laws and regulations, and adopt energy-efficient and climate-friendly technology that is good for the environment and their industry’s bottom line. So far, some 80 countries have ratified the Kigali Amendment.

So what is the ratification all about?

 

Kigali Amendment to the Montreal protocol:

 

Taking into account the seriousness and vulnerability of Seychelles as a small island state and being a low volume consumption country under the Montreal Protocol, Seychelles has now ratified the Kigali Amendmentin order to accomplish our obligation of saving the ozone layer.

 

Joining the global effort to support the Ratification of the ‘Kigali Amendment’ that is to phase down hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), with the aim to adopt to non-ozone depleting substances, non-global warming and energy efficient alternative in a safe and sustainable method, to protect our common global property – the earth ozone layer.

 

What is Kigali Amendment?

It was on October 15, 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda that Seychelles joined other members of the Montreal Protocol to endorse the ‘Kigali Amendment’, which introduces the controls on consumption and production of hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs.). The reason for such decision by the parties is because HFCs component are increasing rapidly in the global market and if not stopped would become the major cause of climate change by the year 2050.

 

In order to better understand the need to phase down HFCs we need to know:

The relationship between the HCFC phase-out and HFC phase-down

Hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are ozone-depleting substances (ODS) controlled under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. In January 2018, Seychellesbanned the importation of HCFCs, and by 2020, there would be a total phase out of consumption.       

 

This was a very important decision made by our country to contribute to the process, for although HCFCs compared to ODPs of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have very low ozone-depleting potential (ODPs) their overall effect on ozone layer depletion is quite high because of the large quantities which are still consumed globally.                           

While the global HCFC phase-out process is progressing, the most common alternatives to HCFCs that have zero ODP values – hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), unsaturated HFCs (HFOs), hydrocarbons (HCs) and ammonia or CO2–are gradually being phased in.

Due to their specific features like:non-flammability, chemical inertness, relatively low cost and excellent performance as refrigerants, foam blowing agents, aerosol propellants or solvents, HFCs have become the major replacements for HCFCs over the last decade.

However, the great disadvantage ofhydro fluorocarbons(HFCs) is that the most commonly-used HFC substances and blends are powerful greenhouse gases which have very high global warming potentials (GWPs), several thousand times greater than the GWP of CO2.

 

It is important to differentiate between the phase-out regimes established for HCFCs where consumption and production are to be fully eliminated and the phase-down regime established for HFCs where consumption and production are only reduced to a certain level.

 

First steps towards the ratification of Kigali Amendment

 

As the first step involves the ratification of the amendment, policy makers would play an important role in their decision, as it would be important for them to understand the need to accept such amendment. In doing so, their decision would be contributing towards the milestone of saving the world disappearing human race from disappearing in the near future.

 

The policy makers should know that by ratifying this amendment, we would be using, natural and more energy efficient gases. The policy makers should recognise that Seychelles would benefit in global trading in the refrigerant sector, as all countries that have ratified the Kigali Amendment would be working together to help implement the target, so they would be able to detect good market thus affordable price.

 

All stakeholders must understand that it is a phase-down system. Existing establishments wouldnot be affectedin place unless they are changing their system.They would behowever, advised to use natural, global friendly and more energy efficiency alternative gas, once the amendment has been ratified.

 

Newly builtestablishment, e.g. new hotels, government and private buildings would be the ones implementing.

The process would take place gradually; a step-by-step system as we must all be aware of the know-how of the process.Participation of all stakeholders would be essential in all activities conducted, such as training and workshops as part of the contribution in making our future safe and the world a safer place to live in.

 

The table below shows a list of refrigerant gases and their global warming potential

 

Refrigerant

GWP

Advisable

Not

Advisable

HFC 507

3,985

 

×

HFC 404A

3,922

 

×

HFC 227ae

3,220

 

×

HFC 407C

1,774

 

×

HFC 134a

1,430

 

×

HFC 245fa

1,030

 

×

HFC 32

675

 

×

HFO 1234yf

4

×

 

Propane

3

×

 

CO2

1

×

 

Ammonia

0

×

 

 

At the top of the table are HFCs refrigerant gases with their global warming potential (GWP). HFCs gases have very high global warming potential which even if it doesn’t deplete the ozone layer they contribute in climate change. 

Gases such as propane, carbon dioxide, are gases with no ozone depleting substances (ODS) with very limited GWP and these are known as natural refrigerant.

 

 Conclusion

 

The world is linked together, the wind blows from one continent to another and no countries should believe that they are not going to be affected, or that it is not our business therefore not our responsibility. This behaviour will destroy the world we live in.

 

Conributed by the Ozone Unit

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