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African Countries Accelerate Efforts to Phase out HCFCs

Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)

Victoria, Seychelles – The four-day meeting, which was officially opened on 20 June 2011 by the principal secretary, Ministry of Environment, Didier Dogley, discussed among other issues, the planning for the final phase of the Montreal Protocol, opportunities for enhancing the South-South cooperation, and technology options for avoiding the use of hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which have high global warming potential as well as replacing or enhancing the energy efficiency for air conditioning systems.

African countries are embarking on the ambitious plan to phase out HCFCs. Through a campaign called “Ozone2Climate”, it is expected that Africa will get maximum climate benefit from HCFC phase out. African countries have resolved to continue their commitment towards the Ozone Layer Protection. Having phased out nearly 25,000 tones of CFCs and other important Ozone Depleting Chemicals ahead of the time stipulated in the Montreal Protocol, and having erased the annual carbon footprints of more than 60 million tones equivalent of carbon dioxide, the continent is now beginning a new journey.

The resounding message at this meeting was that while UNEP OzonAction with other Implementing Agencies plays the catalytic role, the real hard work and dedication has been from the National Ozone Units of the African countries.

Rajendra Shende, Head of UNEP’s OzonAction Programme, said, “Collective action by African countries to address the ozone layer depletion when they have contributed the least in causing that problem is iconic.”

The meeting brings together representatives from 24 African countries alongside the Seychelles Minister for Health, Dr. Erna Athanasius, the Head of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction, Rajendra Shende, the representative from the Ozone Secretariat, Gilbert Bankobeza, and senior regional coordinator of the Ozone Compliance Assistance Programme in Africa, Jeremy Bazye.

“While we recognize the exemplary achievement of the Montreal Protocol, we remain deeply concerned by the absence of the same sense of urgency to address the climate change,” said Willis Agricole, Director General and climate negotiator of Seychelles.

Willis Agricole recently attended a climate meeting of UNFCCC in Bonn where representatives of France, Germany, Ozone Secretariat and United Nations Industrial and Development Organization (UNIDO), noted that nearly US $ 175 million provided by the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol to the African countries for about 1200 projects represented less than 10% of the funds received by all the developing countries.


This meeting was a key tool to reviewing progress of the Montreal Protocol being carried out at the regional, sub-regional and national level.

The OzonAction Programme is engaged in providing the technology support and capacity building to 146 developing countries in the world.

Seychelles, along with many other English-speaking African parties to the Montreal Protocol community, has accomplished major milestones in fulfilling their obligations under the protocol.

2011 marks the 20th Anniversary of the UNEP OzonAction Programme. The programme has enabled the African countries to meet their compliance.

Source: UNEP.