The Montreal Protocol has not only led to the phase-out of the 99% of Ozone Depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products but has also successfully gained unprecedented level of cooperation and commitment by the international communities, industrialists, economists, environmentalists and policy makers.
This was highlighted by Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Honorable Dr Mahendra Reddy while officiating at the commemoration of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer in Nadi yesterday.
Highlighting the importance of collaboration from stakeholders, Dr. Reddy stressed that parties linked to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer have committed to eliminating the production of key chemical and gases linked to be Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS), including Fiji, which does not produce nor manufacture ODS.
“The theme for this year: “Ozone for Life- 35 years of Ozone Protection’”, reflects on the years of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol and also reminds us that we must keep up with the momentum to ensure Fijians are healthy people and living in a healthy environment,” Minister Reddy said.
“In Fiji, we have over the past 10 years decreased the production and consumption of Hydocloroflorocarbons (HCFCs), one of the most common Ozone Depleting Substance (ODSs) and we are on track to achieving the complete phase-out of HCFCs by 2030 as per obligation under the Montreal Protocol.” Minister Reddy lauded industries and institutions for working with the government and enforcement agency partners in complying with the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Act 1998 and the ODS regulations 2002.
“I take this opportunity to reiterate our message to continue to partner in the protection of the ozone layer through compliance to the ODS Act, building our capacity and adopting to ozone friendly alternatives which are energy efficient and have low global warming potential.
We will play our part and continue to engage with the Refrigeration and Air- conditioning (RAC) industries and provide the necessary trainings and will consult on any new policies that will be developed,” Minister Reddy said.
“Fiji recently ratified the Kigali Amendment and we are committed to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 80% by 2045. HFCs are a group of chemicals that do not deplete the ozone layer but are powerful greenhouse gases and are catalysts of climate change.
The Kigali Amendment when implemented will further contribute to climate change mitigation. Minister Reddy encouraged stakeholders to work together to accomplish national priority objectives in line with the Government’s National Development Plan.