Barbados is on track to make the transition towards the use of non-ozone depleting, climate friendly and energy efficient alternatives in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) sector.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Edison Alleyne, said Barbados, like other developing countries, was required to reduce the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 35 per cent by the year 2020 as stipulated under the Montreal Protocol.
“Like all developing countries, the national programme is now focused on the implementation of activities to sequentially reduce HCFC consumption,” he said.
Mr. Alleyne made these comments on Tuesday while delivering the feature address at the opening of a three-day Caribbean Ozone Officers’ Network meeting at the Radisson Aquatica.
He explained that HCFCs were being replaced with Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in keeping with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
“This amendment will add 18 hydrofluorocarbons to the list of 96 chemicals already controlled by the Montreal Protocol,” the Permanent Secretary explained.
Noting that the HFCs were non-ozone depleting substances but still considered to be potent greenhouse gases with high global warming potential, he added that Barbados’ immediate obligation under the Amendment would be to establish HFC consumption baselines by 2024.
This, he said, would be followed by a phase down schedule that would realise an 80 per cent reduction in consumption levels by 2045.
“Kigali therefore represents a win for the ozone layer, a win for climate change, and a win for the Caribbean region as we are amongst the most vulnerable group to the hazards associated with ozone depletion and global climate change,” Mr. Alleyne noted.
As a result, Barbados will be moving to start the process of dilagoue early in 2017 to facilitate the ratification and adjusting local existing regulatory tools to reflect the coverage of the new HFC obligations.
Project Manager in the National Ozone Unit of the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Rickardo Ward, explained that Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), gases with high global warming potential, were the first set of chemicals used in the RAC sector, but were phased out in 2010 and replaced with HCFCs.
“Now we are dealing with the global phase out of HCFCs, which requires the developed world to phase them out. By 2020, developing countries have to reduce our consumption to 35 per cent, and by 2030, completely abandon using HCFCs,” he explained.
He added that HFCs were the replacement for HCFCs. “It is non ozone depleting but it is a greenhouse gas and contributes to the greenhouse gas emission profile. It is of concern to climate change and that is what the Kigali Amendment is all about,” Mr. Ward pointed out.