FG, Lagos commit to phase out of Ozone depleting substances
The Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, said the Federal Government is committed to phase out hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent GreenHouseGas (GHGs), used as refrigerants.
The government disclosed that in line with the implementation of Montreal Protocols, it has trained over 10,000 refrigeration technicians, leading to successful phasing out of over 4,000 metric tonnes of ozone depleting substances in Nigeria.
The minister said this in a statement to commemorate the International Day for preservation of the Ozone Layer, in Abuja.
Ikeazor said the Montreal Protocols has also provided a platform for more than 198 countries to work together on phasing out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).
The ministry, she said would intensify awareness creation activities on the importance of Ozone Layer Protection, including collaboration with relevant stakeholders as well as training and effective monitoring of technicians in the affected sectors.
“We have partnered with United Nations Development Programme to develop a national cooling plan. The national cooling plan will soon be launched as we prepare to incorporate it into the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In line with Protocols’ ODS phase out schedule, we have converted the technology line of over 700 enterprises in the foam, refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosols to ozone friendly ones”, Ikeazor said.
She further said government has identified 26 institutions, including polytechnics and government technical colleges that offer refrigeration and air conditioning courses and equipped them to serve as training centres adding, with this, it is expected to avoid up to 0.4 degree centigrade of global temperature by the end of the century.
MEANWHILE, with increasing global warming and its impacts that include climate change and cancerous diseases, environmentalists have stressed the need to ramp up efforts in phasing out ozone depleting substances in the country.
They reiterated the need for more awareness on the protection of Ozone layer, which protects humans from the harmful Ultra Violet (UV) rays.
Speaking at a webinar titled, ‘Montreal Protocol; keeping us, our food and vaccines cool’ organised by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), the General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, said in ensuring the implementation of Montreal Protocol, there is need for cooperation among relevant stakeholders to ensure that banned refrigerants and other Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) are not imported into the country.
Fasawe said this year’s theme was to further restate commitments of the government to ensure gradual phasing out of ODS especially, those used in the manufacturing of refrigerants.
She emphasised the importance of the cooling sector, which helps in keeping the environment, food and medicine cool, adding that other benefits include but not limited to health and well being in the built environment, 15 per cent boost in workforce productivity and reducing food waste.
The Permanent Secretary, Office of the Environmental Services, (OES), in Lagos, Mrs. Belinda Odeneye, reiterated commitment of government in continuous phasing out of ODS, which has drastically helped in the healing of the ozone layer and boosting energy efficiency in the cooling sector.