The government says it is moving with speed to phase out hydrochlorofluorocarbons( HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are deemed key in depleting the ozone layer and is making stride implementing the Montreal Protocol.
Addressing the media during the National Ozone Unit (NOU) media workshop on Thursday, the Director of the Department of Climate Change Management, Washington Zhakata said his department is in the process of implementing the HCFC Phase-out Management Plan stage l2 following the completion of phase 1. was completed with stage ll being expected to commence.
Zhakata said they are now looking for other environmental benefits associated with the phasing out of these chemicals.
“I am happy to inform you that the Stage II HPMP Project was approved during the 86th meeting of the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund. The Stage II HPMP implementation will see the country reducing its HCFC consumption by 67.5% in 2025 and completely phasing out the use of HCFC by 2030,” he said.
The government has tightened security over the smuggling of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) in a bid to tackle both ozone layer depletion and climate change.
Addressing delegates at the Ozone Layer Day commemorations earlier in September, Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mangaliso Ndhlovu said illegal trade in phased out and controlled substances has increased across the globe and Zimbabwe is no exception.
“My Ministry is working with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to train Customs Officers and equip them with tools and skills to combat illegal ODS trade in banned ODS and contaminated refrigerants across the borders. A total of sixteen refrigerant identifiers were distributed to all major ports of entry to help in the detection of mislabeled or contaminated refrigerants,” he said.
Statement to this, ZhakataHe said there was a need to come up with mitigation measures to recover the ozone layer in the midst of environmental challenges such as global warming, persistent droughts, floods and desertification.
Through the global efforts under the Montreal Protocol, most of the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) have been phased out. The “ozone hole” in the stratosphere is healing, in turn protecting human health, economies and ecosystems.
Zimbabwe ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, thus effectively joining the current drive towards zero global warming and zero ozone-depleting substances