Rigobert commends Saint Lucia’s climate change efforts

Rigobert commends Saint Lucia’s climate change efforts

Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Dr. Gale Rigobert, commended Saint Lucia for its efforts to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

The minister’s comments were made on Sep. 16, the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (Ozone Day).

“Saint Lucia is a proud contributor to the global effort of restoring the ozone layer and addressing climate change,” she said. “In 2008, we successfully phased out one group of ozone depleting substances (ODS)—chloroflurocarbons or CFCs, a remarkable two years ahead of the 2010 target date set by the Montreal Protocol. We are currently taking action towards eliminating another group of ozone-depleting substances called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Soon, we will be furthering our efforts by joining the rest of the world as we seek to control a third group of ODS known as hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs.”

The minister also noted the efforts of the National Ozone Unit of the Department of Sustainable Development in promoting alternatives that provide broader environmental benefits; and the efforts of the refrigeration and air conditioning sector in introducing solar air conditioning units to the local market.

“In Saint Lucia, our use of HCFCs and HFCs is concentrated in the refrigeration and air conditioning servicing sector, which ensures that our hotels, office buildings, restaurants, schools, hospitals and homes have the cooling required to maintain a comfortable environment.  Air conditioning is also critical for the storage of vital medical supplies, necessary for food preparation and important to our tourism product. However, these fluorinated gases which have been proposed as alternatives to existing ozone-depleting refrigerants are themselves potent greenhouse gases. This means that they have a high ability to trap heat in our atmosphere and contribute significantly to global warming which results in climate change.

“Under the current Hydrochloroflurorocarbon Phaseout Management Plan (HPMP), which outlines Saint Lucia’s strategy to phase out ozone depleting substances, technicians have received basic training aimed at reducing the demand for virgin HCFCs through improved servicing practices, the recovery and reuse of refrigerants, and retrofitting to non-ozone depleting and low global warming alternatives such as hydrocarbons.

“I urge technicians in the sector to use the tools available to them to make their contribution to ozone protection and climate change. Get certified, practice good refrigeration and air conditioning practices, and take advantage of the duty-free concessions offered by the Ministry of Finance on equipment imported to recover and recycle refrigerants.”

The technician training program will be enhanced to include certification in new and emerging refrigerants.

The 2016 Ozone Day theme is “Ozone and Climate: Restored by a World United.”

Follow the link provided for Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert’s full speech: http://www.govt.lc/news/ozone-day-2016-address

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