Manufacturing and usage of Hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFC) for both domestic and industrial purposes would by 2030 be phased out, as stipulated in the Montreal Protocol. In that regard, the EPA has been organizing a series of sensitizations in schools and communities to deepen understanding and commitment for the protection of the ozone.
Speaking at the sidelines of a day educational campaign for students in the Western Region held at the main auditorium of Archbishop Porter Girls Senior High School, Principal Programs Officer with the Environmental Protection Authority, Joseph Baffoe indicates that all ozone unfriendly refrigerants are gradually being phased out from the earth and shall be replaced by natural and ozone friendly hydrocarbons.
He added that the EPA is working at altering the market dynamics to ensure that appliances that uses these unfriendly ozone elements are eliminated.
“By 2030, we will have most of the air conditioner or refrigerators in the system using hydrocarbons instead of what is being used now as HCFC. If you look at the hydrocarbons, in terms of the unit designs, designs for these equipment, they are very efficient. So apart form helping with the issue of ozone depleting we are also looking at energy savings so far as this is concerned”, he justified.
“So that probably is some drive that the government would have to put in to ensure that we shift entirely, so that we can depend on gases that are more healthy as far us our environment is conerned”, Mr Baffoe added.
Head of Climate Change and Ozone Department, and National Ozone Liaison Officer Emmanuel Osae Quansah stressed the need to patronize ozone friendly products as a proactive measure to safeguard the ozone layer from further depletion.
“Basically what is expected of the citizenry is to patronise the use of Ozone friendly products. We do not manufacture the chemicals, we only use the products, so if you should go for an ozone friendly product, then by extension you are discouraging the use of other chemicals that are unfriendly to the environment”, he explained.
Mr Quansah stressed that several government agencies such as the Customs Divisions of the GRA have been given the capacity to check on products that are harmful to the ozone and are being imported into the country.
“We have empowered some other state institutions to help us do this because we basically don’t manufacture these items, we import them into the country. So we have sensitised the Customs Division of the GRA to do that at the various ports. We have actually gone to the extent of providing them with analyzers which they use to check the type of refrigerants that comes into the country. So at the source once they identify the ones which are not ozone friendly, they would notify us and we will take the necessary action”, he clarified.