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Namibia seeks 'greener' gases.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry is in the process of phasing out products containing harmful Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) chemicals to allow for a transition to non-HCFC technology following the Montreal Protocol.

According to Saara Hamunyela from the ministry, Namibia is aiming at achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and is in the process of sourcing gases.

"From next year, the ministry will ban the import of products which contain HCFC. The ministry has in the meantime come up with programmes targeted at key partners including suppliers and service providers, amongst others, as part of the phasing out programme. This includes the provision of information on regulations, alternatives to be sourced and implications to end users, that is, consumers," Hamunyela said.

Namibia under took the commitment to achieve a complete phase out of HCFC by 2020.

"The decision to phase out HCFC earlier than the Montreal Protocol schedule is based on the country's commitment to meet challenges for both ozone protection and climate impact mitigation," she added.

The phase-out schedule for Namibia includes the freeze at baseline level on 1 January 2012, achieve 30% reduction by 1 January 2015, achieve 80% reduction by 1 January 2018, achieve 97.5 % reduction by 1 January 2020 and achieve 100 % reduction by 1 January 2030, in accordance with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The ministry is currently conducting training at vocational training centres across the country in order to educate and train technicians on how to use alternatives to HCFC.

Government established the Import and Export Control Act in 2005, which controls the import and export of all ozone depleting substances. The regulations were amended in 2010 to include HCFC and HCFC-based equipment in the licensing and quota system. The amendments came into effect on 1 January 2011.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry is the national body responsible for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol activities in Namibia.


By Johanna Absalom
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Author:Absalom, Johanna
Publication:Namibia Economist (Windhoek, Namibia)
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Sep 30, 2011
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