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The Seventeenth Joint Network Meeting of Ozone Officers from the

English- and French-speaking African countries addresses safe,

Climate-friendly and energy-efficient alternatives to HCFC

Addis Ababa, 28 March 2014 - Ahead of the 1 January 2015 target to meet the ten percent step down from the freeze level of Hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFC) phase-out set by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, forty-seven African countries met from 24-28 March, 2014 in Addis Ababa to exchange experiences and address common issues with HCFC and methyl bromide (MB) phase-out. The main challenge for the African Ozone Officers is the need to speed up the implementation of activities identified in the HCFC Phase-Out Management Plan (HPMP) in order to meet the ten per cent reduction in the baseline consumption for the next eight months. These goals need to be achieved against sharp growing demands for refrigeration and air- conditioning equipment that rely on HCFC technologies or technologies that potentially have major negative impacts on the environment, and particularly the climate.

The meeting was opened by the Hon. Belete Tafere Desta, Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forest of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. In his statement, the Minister noted that many studies and researches done on climate change such as IPCC AR4 and IPCC AR5 indicated that the globe was getting warmer at an alarming rate due to the continuing emission of global warming gases. He said that with good efforts in reducing the use of these gases, the challenges and problems could be solved, and for these reasons, implementation of the Montreal Protocol (MP) is important and needs to be given high attention.

The five-day session was attended by representatives from the Multilateral Fund Secretariat, Ozone Secretariat, Implementing agencies; as well as international experts, Refrigeration Industries and the private sector. Plenary and separate sessions for the two networks were held. The objective was for ozone officers to share experiences and information to enable them to efficiently implement their national HPMPs and meet their obligations under the MP.  These talks provided a platform for ozone officers to examine common problems and challenges, compare notes on measures taken in the past years, draw lessons learnt in a few specific cases which need readjustment and foster regional collaboration towards meeting the countries’ binding obligations under the Protocol.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of many African countries facing big challenges in the implementation of their national HPMPs due to a growing demand for the introduction and implementation of regulatory mechanisms for energy-efficient, safe and low-Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants. Such challenges made it necessary for African ozone officers to think and act in a comprehensive and holistic manner, in order to advice the governments on the appropriate technology choices.

For Further Information:

Mr. Patrick Salifu, Regional Network Coordinator, Anglophone Network

Tel: +254207623956: Email: Patrick.Salifu@unep.org

Mr. Yamar Guisse, Regional Network Coordinator, Francophone Network

Tel: +254207623909:  Email: Yamar.Guisse@unep.org

OzonAction Programme: www.unep.org/ozonaction