Pakistan to phase out use of ozone-depleting chemicals

Officials say plan is part of the Montreal Protocol


Our Correspondent October 26, 2017
Officials say plan is part of the Montreal Protocol. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Environmentalists, industrialists, manufacturers and academics on Wednesday pledged to jointly work with the Climate Change Ministry to completely phase out the use of ozone-layer-depleting substances in the country in line with the Montreal Protocol.

Getting rid of 13 different ozone-depleting substances (ODSs), including hydro-chloro-fluoro-carbons (HCFC) and chloro-fluoro-carbons (CFC), is critical to protecting the ozone layer, which protects all life on earth from adverse impacts of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and its spill-over effect of climate change.

Scientist claims Pakistan reduced ozone-depleting pollutants by 35%

Speaking at a day-long workshop, organised by the Ozone Cell of the Ministry of Climate Change in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme in Islamabad, on the Kigali Amendment, United Nations Environment Programme, Asia-Pacific Regional Director Dechen Tsering said that ozone-depleting substances generally contain chlorine, fluorine, bromine, carbon and hydrogen in varying proportions —often described as halocarbons.

Apart from the HCFCs, CFCs, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform were the main human-produced ozone-depleting gases which are used in many day-to-day applications such as refrigerators, air conditioners, foam blowing, cleaning of electronics components and as solvents.

She appreciated Pakistan’s commitment to phasing out ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol, considered to be the most successful global environmental agreement setting out commitments by every country in the world to eliminate production and use of chemicals which damage the ozone layer.

“The UN Environment Programme will remain actively engaged with Pakistan in development of enabling activities for the phasing down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol,” Tsering reiterated.

Saving ozone layer: ‘Pakistan part of global efforts’

Climate Change Ministry’s Secretary Syed Abu Akif underlined the need for rationalizing or optimising the use of natural resources to protect humans, biodiversity and environment from
devastating impacts of natural calamities including ozone depletion.

“We humans cannot continue to live a healthy life if we do not make our lifestyle nature-compatible and live our lives in complete harmony with nature,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2017.

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