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Kigali Implementation Plan: Minister Ramano Stresses The Need To Phase Down Hydrofluorocarbons

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Most hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), commonly used in refrigeration, air conditioning and manufacturing sectors, have high global warming potentials, entailing in several deleterious repercussions to the ozone layer and the population at large. Therefore, the preparation of the Kigali Implementation Plan (KIP) is a significant step toward the progressive phasing down of the HFCs.

This statement was made by the Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change, Mr Kavydass Ramano, yesterday morning, during the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop on the KIP, held at the Docks 2, in Port Louis.

Kigali Implementation Plan

Minister Ramano recalled that since 1992, Mauritius has been engaging in the phasing down of the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) under the Montreal Protocol. He added that in 2019, the country ratified the Kigali Amendment adding that substantial efforts have been made, with the assistance of local and international partners, in the deployment of alternative technologies and adoption of sustainable practices, especially in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors.

HFCs emissions, the Environment Minister indicated, are projected to exacerbate, with a 30% increase by 2030. As such, he highlighted that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in 2016, will serve as a comprehensive roadmap to abate HFCs levels by 10% in 2029, 30% in 2035, 50% in 2040, and 80% by 2045. The freeze in production and consumption is expected as from 2024, he underpinned. This phasing-down endeavour, Mr Ramano affirmed, is imperative to ward off more than 80 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and to decrease the risks of skin cancer, cataracts and other health issues associated with excessive exposure to UV light.

Besides, Minister Ramano informed that a national survey on the HFCs consumption was carried out in 2023. The findings, he added, will be discussed in this workshop and some elements will, accordingly, be incorporated in the KIP, which should be finalised by September this year. Moreover, he stipulated that the workshop will be undertaken by two consultants namely, Mr Nils Hansen and Mrs Neeta Sharma, from GIZ Proklima, an agency that has been proactive in the promotion of integrated ozone and climate protection in the cooling sector globally. He also shared that Mauritius has received a grant of USD 170,000 from the multilateral firm for the preparation of the KIP.

Kigali Implementation Plan

Dwelling on the consequences of inaction, Mr Ramano stressed on the criticality of assuaging HFCs, through the development of a robust inventory of the current use of HFCs, in a bid to foster a low-carbon economy, as well as a sustainable and resilient future. Furthermore, he qualified HFCs reduction as everyone’s responsibility.

In his virtual address, Mr Hansen delved into the longstanding partnerships between Proklima and Mauritius since 1998. These encompass the provision of capacity-building in the use of technologies. Currently, students and contractors are offered training in the harnessing of natural refrigerants at the Université de Mascareignes of Mauritius, he indicated.

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