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Nigeria phases out 4,000 metric tons of ozone depleting substances

By Cornelius Essen, Abuja
26 September 2022   |   4:07 am
As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 2022 World Ozone Day, the Federal Government has highlighted efforts to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and protect the ozone layer.

Ozone layer

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 2022 World Ozone Day, the Federal Government has highlighted efforts to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and protect the ozone layer.

The Minister of Environment, Abdullahi Mohammed, explained that the protocol has resulted in 100 per cent phase out of the over 4,000 metric tons of ODS, with high ozone depletion potentials such as, CFCS Holes Carbon Tetrachlodes and methyl bromide in 2010, by training 10,000 refrigeration technicians in the country.

United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, (UNIDO), said it has supported Nigeria and 110 countries to reduce the consumption of Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) by 2047.

Besides, the organisation said it is working towards eliminating the substance under the Convention to avoid as much as 0.5°C of global warming by the end of the century, which is a major compliment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which targets 2°C.

The Country Representative and Regional Director, Mr. Jean Bakole, made the assertions to celebrate the World Ozone Day in Abuja, explained that this year’s commemoration marks the 35 year of signing the Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone layer.

Bakole observed that Nigeria is a high performing member state of the Montreal Protocol, which has continuously and regularly worked towards fulfilling its obligation under the Convention and the first treaties of any kind to achieve universal ratification.

He said: The world has achieved industrial success by discovering and manufacturing cooling gases and aerosols for firefighting, but created a problem for the environment. The Convention addresses more than 100 chemicals of interest.

“The Kigali Amendment further pushes countries to renew their commitment to climate action. The goal is to achieve over 80 per cent reduction in HFC consumption by 2047 to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development,” Bakole added.

Also, the Country Representative in Nigeria maintained that UNIDO has partnered well with the Federal Government through the leadership of the National Ozone Office to carry out several ozone protection activities.

Hailing the Montreal Protocol as the most successful environmental treaty ever, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said the instrument’s adoption ended one of the biggest threats ever to face humanity as a whole: the depletion of the ozone layer.

“When the world found out that ozone-depleting gases used in aerosols and cooling were creating a hole in the sky, they came together,” the agency said in a press statement, adding: “They showed that multilateralism and effective global cooperation worked, and they phased out these gases. Now the ozone layer is healing, allowing it once again to shield humanity from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.”

This action has protected millions of people from skin cancer and cataracts over the years since. It allowed vital ecosystems to survive and thrive. It safeguarded life on Earth. And it slowed climate change: if ozone-depleting chemicals had not been banned, we would be looking at a global temperature rise of an additional 2.5°C by the end of this century.

“This would have been a catastrophe,” said UNEP. In his message on World Ozone Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Protocol was a success because, when science discovered the threat we all faced, governments and their partners acted.

“The Montreal Protocol is a powerful example of multilateralism in action. With the many problems facing the world – from conflicts to growing poverty, deepening inequality and climate emergency – it is a reminder that we can succeed in working together for the common good,” said the UN chief.

Guterres said that the Montreal Protocol has already contributed to tackling the climate crisis, and indeed, by protecting plants from ultraviolet radiation, allowing them to live and store carbon, it has avoided up to an extra 1 degree Celsius of global warming.

“The Protocol’s work to phase out climate-heating gases and improve energy efficiency through its Kigali Amendment can further slow climate disruption. But, only by mirroring the cooperation and speedy action of the Montreal Protocol elsewhere can we stop the carbon pollution that is dangerously heating our world. We have a choice: collective action or collective suicide,” he warned.

UNEP said that the Montreal Protocol has much more to give. Under the Kigali Amendment nations have committed to phase down hydrofluorocarbons – a move that could avoid up to 0.4°C of global temperature rise by the end of the century. The Protocol and its Amendment are helping the world adopt climate friendly and energy-efficient cooling technology.

“It also means a cooler planet as more countries ratify the Amendment. It means more people being able to access vital cooling technology without further warming the planet. It also means the Protocol continuing to send a clear and lasting message: global cooperation to protect life on Earth is our best chance at a brighter future for everyone,” UNEP added.