This coming Sunday, September 16, Barbadian environmentalists will join their counterparts across the globe in celebrating International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, more familiarly known as World Ozone Day.
The day will also mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol to the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer. To date, 191 countries have signed the Protocol, which encourages countries to phase out the production and use of ozone depleting chemicals.
The Ministry of Energy and the Environment has reported that Barbados had achieved some measure of success in its contribution to the global effort to preserve the ozone layer since becoming a signatory to the Vienna Convention and Protocol in 1992.
Among these was the establishment of the National Ozone Unit and Steering Committee to assist with the implementation of the country programme and, most critically, a 50 percent reduction in the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) consumption level.
Additionally, training in CFC recovery, recycling and equipment retrofitting has been integrated into the Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning course at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.
The Protocol currently requires the global phase out of production and trade in CFCs by 2010. Barbados is on target to meet this requirement since CFCs are not manufactured on the island. As of January 2010, no imports of equipment using CFCs or the gases themselves will be allowed.
Barbados’ approach to reducing its dependence on the use of ozone depleting chemicals is in keeping with the development of a “green economy”, particularly as it relates to national participation in global environmental governance regimes.