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Barbados will soon implement a product registration system for Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (RAC) that should assist with the reduction of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), chemicals that contribute to climate change.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification, Anthony Wiltshire, highlighted the initiative while speaking at the Regional Capacity Building Workshop on Product Registration Systems, held at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort this morning.

Mr. Wiltshire stated that the Government of Barbados, with assistance from the United 4 Efficiency Initiative (U4E), and the United Nations Environment Programme under the Caribbean Project Caribbean Cooling Initiative (CCOOL), will implement a product registry for RACs that would assist in the reduction of ODSs and HFCs being dispersed within our environment.

The Permanent Secretary acknowledged that refrigeration plays a critical and ever growing role within national economies, for example in tourism, transport, the food chain and home refrigeration, and noted that between 2015 and 2050, the number of air conditioners was forecast to increase from 1.5 to 5.5. billion units.

“In view of this reality, we must work to ensure that effective measures are implemented in order to guide the transition towards the use of RAC equipment that is ozone and climate-friendly, as well as energy efficient,” he emphasized.

To this end, Mr. Wiltshire said the development of a product registration system that works in conjunction with energy labelling standards and minimum energy performance standards has been identified as an important tool that should be considered for implementation in Barbados. 

“The registry and related public databases will provide an up-to-date and accurate picture of the RAC market and serve as a basis for making decisions on product labelling and energy rating policies. 

“Additionally, it is envisaged that such a system would enable authorities to access individual product details, support market surveillance activities and contribute to helping consumers find products that fit their needs and are in accordance with established standards,” he pointed out.

In his overview of the product registration system and CCOOL, U4E Programme Manager, Brian Holuj, stated that by addressing cooling, Barbados was, in essence, addressing a sector that would assist the country in reaching its 2030 100 per cent carbon neutral goal.

Mr. Holuj said that over the next two days, participants at the workshop, who include personnel from standards and customs agencies in Barbados, The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Lucia, will receive a better understanding of the benefits of implementing the product registry, namely “to flag products that aren’t efficient or use ozone depleting chemicals…and restrict their importation”. 

sheena.forde@barbados.gov.bb

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