WINDHOEK - Namibia made considerable progress in phasing out ozone depleting substances and adopting ozone and climate friendly technologies.
Having totally phased out Chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs] in 2008, the country remains committed to eliminating Hydrochlorocarbons [HCFCs] in all sectors during the period of 2012 – 2020. Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Minister Tjekero Tweya, who attended a two-day of the 30th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Ecuador las week, says the phase-out schedule for Namibia is based on an accelerated approach under the Montreal Protocol. Due to Namibia’s commitment, the HCFC consumption has already been drastically reduced by 80 percent from the baseline.
Further, Tweya noted Namibia has enacted HCFC regulations which prohibits importation of equipment designed for the usage of HCFC, and established a quota system for HCFC imports or exports aiming to maintain records and ensure that reduction in HCFC imports are achieved.
He adds that Namibia’s HCFC phase-out strategy is aligned with the key result areas including productive utilisation of natural resources, environmental sustainability of National Development Plan (NDP5), and the carbon neutrality policy of the country. “Namibia has declared to become carbon neutral by 2030. Hence the country wants to phase-out HCFC consumption by 2020, 10 years earlier than 2030 in order to allow for a smoother transformation to industrialisation,” says Tweya. This is the broad policy the country is adopting at the moment, in all fields such as energy generation, energy efficiency and emission reduction.
Therefore, he says phase-out schedule for Namibia is aligned with Namibia’s National Development Plan [NDP] 3 and Vision 2030. On the contrary, Tweya says Namibia acknowledges that the replacement of HCFCs with HCFs has resulted in its rapidly increasing consumption rate as depicted in the ODS alternative survey conducted in 2016. This presents another global challenge since HFCs are extremely powerful global warming gases. Parties to the Montreal Protocol have risen to address this challenge by adopting the Kigali Amendment whose entry into force has already been met. He further reveals that the Ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer is before Cabinet for consideration. The Namibian government will, through its strategic communication channels and platforms, inform the Namibian people and all stakeholders about the strides made in this regard.
Tweya feels this will not only benefit the global climate, but also a large proportion of the population, which has limited means of adaptation to the threats of climate change. “We remain confident that the details of the amendment will address the challenges that were raised during the negotiations; which include issues of capacity, awareness raising, technology adoption and availability of alternative technologies,” he says.
Namibia is committed to facilitating speedily ratification of the amendment and working with all concerned to ensure its successful implementation and eventual phase-down of HFC consumption and subsequent reduction of their atmospheric abundance. Moreover, Tweya commended the efforts by Parties to the Montreal Protocol in working tirelessly beyond the call of duty to phase out ozone depleting substances, making it to be the most successful environmental treaty with tangible strategic outcomes.