Friday 14 August, 2020

Barbados moving to reduce use of ozone depleting gases

Government is taking steps to ensure the use of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is reduced.

Speaking at the opening of a Regional Capacity Building Workshop on Product Registration Systems, at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification, Anthony Wiltshire, revealed Barbados would soon be implementing a product registration system for Refrigeration and Air-conditioning (RAC). 

He said it should assist in lessening the use of the chemicals that contribute to climate change, adding that with assistance from the United 4 Efficiency Initiative (U4E), and the United Nations Environment Programme under the Caribbean Project Caribbean Cooling Initiative (CCOOL), the government would establish a product registry for RACs that would assist in the reduction of ODSs and HFCs being dispersed into the environment.

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The Permanent Secretary acknowledged that refrigeration plays a critical and ever-growing role within national economies, including tourism, transport and home refrigeration, further noting that the predictions were that, between 2015 and 2050, the number of air condition units was forecast to increase from 1.5 to 5.5. billion.

“[Given] this reality, we must work to ensure that effective measures are implemented to guide the transition towards the use of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment that is ozone and climate-friendly, as well as energy-efficient,” he emphasized.

Wiltshire said the development of a product registration system that works in conjunction with energy labelling standards and minimum energy performance standards has been identified as an important tool that should be considered for implementation in Barbados.

“The registry and related public databases will provide an up-to-date and accurate picture of the refrigeration and air conditioning market and serve as a basis for making decisions on product labelling and energy rating policies.

“Additionally, it is envisaged that such a system would enable authorities to access individual product details, support market surveillance activities and contribute to helping consumers find products that fit their needs and are [per] established standards,” the acting Permanent Secretary pointed out.

Meantime, U4E Programme Manager, Brian Holuj believes that by addressing cooling, Barbados was focusing on a sector that would assist the country in reaching its 2030 100 per cent carbon neutral goal.

In his outline of the workshop, the product registration system and CCOOL, he said workshop participants drawn from standards and customs agencies in Barbados, The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Lucia, will receive a better understanding of the benefits of implementing the product registry.

Holju explained they would be able “to flag products that aren’t efficient or use ozone-depleting chemicals…and restrict their importation”.

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