Ghana is working hard to reduce her use of Hyro Chloro Fluoro Carbon (HCFC) refrigerants by 10 per cent by 2015 as required by the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, Dr. Lawrence Akoto, Principal Programme Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a one-day sensitization programme for students of refrigeration technology at the the Takoradi Technical Institute (TTI) at Takoradi, Dr Akoto said Ghana and other developing countries who are party to the Montreal Protocol are supposed to reduce their consumption of HCFC by 10 per cent by 2015.
He said the country is on course to achieving this target of the protocol, which seeks to control and eventually phase out the production and consumption of ozone depletion substances (OPS).
Dr. Akoto said the Montreal Protocol also requires the country to achieve further reduction in consumption of HCFC by 35 per cent in 2020, 65 per cent by 2025, 97 point 5 per cent by 2030 and a total phase out by 2040.
He said non-compliance with these reduction targets has its implications, including sanctions and trade restrictions by the international community in the supply of these HCFC refrigerants into the country.
Dr. Akoto said the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority has been empowered last year through training and provision of refrigerant identifiers, to step up their monitoring role in tracking down illegal importation of HCFCs and other ozone depleting substances into the country.
Mr. Samuel Osae-Quansah, Director of the Ozone and Climate Change Department of the EPA, said the department has carried out a number of programmes aimed at phasing out OPSs in the country.
The programmes included public awareness creation and training of technicians and engineers in good refrigeration practices such as recovery and recycling of refrigerants, he said.
Mr. Osae-Quansah welcomed the introduction of Hydrocarbon refrigerant as a substitute for HCFC because it has zero Ozone Depleting Potentiial and negligible Global Warming Potential, but because of its flammable nature, it calls for extra care during servicing and maintenance.
He said the programme was to introduce refrigeration technician students to hydrocarbon refrigerants and give them hands-on training on how to convert HCFC based refrigerants to hydrocarbon to avoid accidents and premature decommission of HCFC. GNA