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Belarus to stop importing ozone-depleting substances as from 2020

Society 16.09.2019 | 18:46

MINSK, 16 September (BelTA) - Belarus plans to stop importing ozone-depleting substances as from 2020, Natalya Klimenko, a consultant of the department for regulation of impacts on the air and ozone layer at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, said in a press conference in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

“Almost all countries of the world have joined the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It regulates 114 different chemicals, more than 50% of them has already been withdrawn from consumption. Belarus has not produced ozone-depleting substances throughout the entire period of the Montreal Protocol, therefore our consumption comes from import. Today, along with other countries, we are working to abandon the last group of ozone-depleting substances – hydrochlorofluorocarbons. We must stop importing them by 1 January 2020. At the same time, we still have a certain part of the equipment that runs on such substances. To refuel the existing equipment and technical devices we will use recoverable, recycled substances or stockpiles made before 2020. This equipment is planned to be decommissioned by 2030,” Natalya Klimenko noted.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted in 1987. It provides for specific measures to reduce the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances, which include chlorine or bromine-containing organic substances used as refrigerants in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector, propellants in household and medical aerosol products, fire extinguishing agents in fire extinguishing systems, solvents in electronic and precision engineering, blowing agents in the production of building materials. “Ozone-depleting substances are still used in our country in cooling and air conditioning systems. An inventory of equipment containing such substances is carried out every three years. As of the beginning of 2018, there were about 2,500 units of such equipment, with approximately 300 organizations using it,” she informed.

The Parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted the Kigali amendment to phase down production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) worldwide. According to scientific estimates, this move would avoid up to 0.5°C of global warming by the end of the century.

Belarus was one of the first to sign the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The law on the protection of the ozone layer came into force in Belarus in 2001.

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