For this Caribbean Island, Ozone Protection is a Year-Round Mission — Global Issues

Fridge gone. Scientists continue to emphasize the need to dispose of old refrigerators properly because some emit chemicals that destroy the ozone layer. Credit: Alison Kentish/IPS
  • by Alison Kentish (dominica)
  • Associated Press Service

For the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, one day is not enough to highlight achievements or to celebrate the signing of the 1987 accord. Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layera landmark treaty, ratified globally.

For that country, the Ozone ‘day’ has a month-long compliance period, and protecting the ozone layer is a year-round endeavor.

“The National Ozone Unit was established in 1997 and is responsible for coordinating our activities and programs to ensure that we meet our goals under the Montreal Protocol,” said Environment Officer. School and Sustainable Development at Saint Lucia’s Department of Sustainable Development, Kasha Jn Baptiste told IPS.

“Our primary obligation is to report on our progress in phasing out ozone-depleting substances and to coordinate related projects. Other duties include education and awareness raising, training technicians, law enforcement and implementation, and coordinating partners to ensure that we meet our obligations under the law. to wish. This is year round work.”

Following summer activities for youth aged 15-18, the Department of Sustainable Development held a month-long celebration in September. Events included media appearances. and updates on Saint Lucia’s progress towards achieving the model protocol. The department has been organizing awareness events at all school levels, with more planned for October.

This is part of a year-round effort to educate the public and put young people at the heart of protecting the ozone layer.

“One of the most important ways to continue to highlight the ozone layer is to raise awareness. We start with ozone day and usually focus on educational activities around that day, but we realized that we must have activities all year round. We are also promoting the teaching of ozone issues as part of our science curriculum,” said Jn Baptiste, Montreal Protocol Focal Point in Saint Lucia.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

A key component of maintaining compliance with the Montreal Protocol involves rigorous monitoring of the refrigeration and air conditioning sector. This includes refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, a class of ozone-depleting chemicals that have been banned but still exist in older refrigerators and air conditioner models.

In Saint Lucia, the Sustainability Department conducts year-round training for technicians.

“The refrigeration and air conditioning sector is where we use the majority of those products, and the technicians are the ones who maintain these items. We want them to be aware of what is happening, how the field is transforming, and what new alternatives are available,” Jn Baptiste told IPS.

In a 2016 amendment to the Montreal Protocol, countries agreed to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used as substitutes for CFCs. Known as Modify KigaliThe signatories agreed that these HFCs represent strong greenhouse gases (hydrogen, fluorine and carbon) and contribute to climate change.

“It’s really important now that countries like Saint Lucia have a target in the Montreal Protocol. We said ‘no more HFCs by 2030’ so in October Saint Lucia will launch phase two of our HPMP, the HFC Phased Management Plan. That will include the activities needed to help us meet that 2030 goal. We will expand on what we have done in the past and include technician training activities.”

change the law

Officials are currently reviewing the country’s legislation to ensure compliance with the goals of the Kigali Amendment.

Jn. Baptiste said.

“Interestingly, the gradual reduction of HFCs could contribute to averting warming of 0.4 degrees by the end of this century. That is important. 0.4 degrees is small, but we know that the Paris Agreement targets 1.5 degrees. The Kigali Amendment, if countries implement it, will do some of the work of the climate agreement. The Montreal Protocol started with the goal of protecting the ozone layer, but it has evolved to address climate change issues – global warming.”

Report of the UN IPS Office

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© Inter Press Service (2022) — All rights reservedOrigin: Inter Press Service


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