Guyana successfully phased out CFCs

―working to reduce HFCs

DPI, Guyana, Friday, September 20, 2019

The government, through its Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) Vision and being a signatory of the Montreal Protocol, has committed to the phasing down the use of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons by 80% by the year 2045.

Guyana has already ceased the use of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) greatly, reducing the impact on the ozone as Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Noel Holder noted in his address at the Turkeyen and Tain Talks 20 “Cooling down: Replacing Harmful Gases in the Air Conditioners and Refrigerators”.

“Through the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) phase-out programmes Guyana has contributed significantly to this end.  It is estimated that through these programmes Guyana has avoided the direct emission of 230 ODP (ozone-depleting potential) tonnes of CFCs and HCFCs; equivalent to 678,750,000 metric tonnes CO2; with significantly higher emissions reduction anticipated for the HFC Phase-down.”

Following the phasing out of CFCs for the less harmful HFCs, signatories to the Montreal Protocol then chose to move to the next step which for Guyana is the reduction of HFCs. This particular refrigerant is currently used in our refrigeration and air conditioning systems as these were the replacement for CFCs.

“The phase-down of HFCs provides an opportunity to revisit national policies in order to encourage the infiltration of cleaner, greener and longer-term refrigeration and air conditioning technologies that are ozone and climate-friendly as well as energy-efficient.” Minister Holder said.

These can include the introduction of fiscal incentives for importers as well as the implementation of minimum energy performance standards for cooling equipment. Currently, the Hydroment Office sets a quota for the importation of HFC refrigerants and the Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB) is then given that quota and is responsible for regulating import licenses.

Minister Holder is however adamant that even more effort will have to be expended to strengthen this system for the phase-down process.

Because of the proliferation and importance of HFCs to the refrigeration and air conditioning sector, their phase-down will entail significant national effort.  Our national system for monitoring and reporting on imports and exports of HFCs must be strengthened.”

Additionally, more will be done to manage the certification and licensing of technicians as a means to reduce servicing practices that can adversely impact the environment and threaten the safety of those very technicians and the public at large.

The Ministry of Agriculture, through the National Montreal Protocol phase-out programme, will continue to work to ensure that individuals within the servicing sector are provided with the opportunity to access appropriate skills and information. The transition to greener technologies has already begun in some sectors.  Natural refrigerants, which are the preferred longer-term technology, have significantly penetrated our national market. From 2016 to 2018, approximately 30-40% of new domestic refrigerators imported into Guyana were R-600a-based.

The Montreal Protocol is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

 

Editor’s Note: Refrigerant – a chemical used in a cooling mechanism, such as an air conditioner or refrigerator. Most common commercial refrigerants are the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which, because of their high ozone damaging potential, are being phased out.

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