– 29 November, 2016:
The Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development and Disaster and Beach Management organised the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Inventory Workshop Green Cooling Africa Initiative, yesterday at the InterContinental Resort, Balaclava.
Mauritius together with three other African countries namely; Ghana, Kenya and Namibia have embarked on the Green Cooling Africa Initiative, which is, a regional project under the Climate Technology Centre and Network of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its objective is to enable participating countries to have the necessary information and tools for a transformational change in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector. This is expected to be achieved through a regional approach, as a means to avoid duplication at country’s level. The project which started in September 2015, will last till March 2017.
The National Ozone Depleting Substances Alternative Survey was undertaken over the island, as a first step of the Green Cooling Africa Initiative, during the months of July to September 2016. It involved the establishment of greenhouse gasses tier 2 inventories for selected, priority cooling sub-sectors, including mobile air conditioning as well as domestic, commercial, industrial and transport refrigeration. Hospitals, clinics, hotels, supermarkets, cold rooms, importers and distributors of equipment amongst others were covered.
The findings of this survey, which were presented during the workshop, will be used to assess technology needs and to come up with a roadmap to promote green cooling. The roadmap that will be developed will comprise; legislation update, technology transfer, capacity building and also sensitisation and awareness campaigns. The overall aim is to promote natural refrigerants including: carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrocarbons in replacement of Ozone Depleting and Global Warming Technologies.
Present at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development and Disaster and Beach Management, Mr Alain Wong, stated that negotiations during the Meeting of Parties this year, have led to the landmark Kigali amendment- the first African amendment of the Montreal protocol. Mauritius, along with other African countries and China will start their freeze of HFCs as from 2024, he added. The baseline for the phase down will be the year 2020-2022.
According to the Minister, with the coming into force of the Kigali amendment, Mauritius will now prepare its strategy and action plan so as to start the freeze of the import of hydrofluorocarbons as from the year 2024. The action plan would include regulations for phasing down hydrofluorocarbons-based equipment, introduction of a quota system, the phase-down schedule, training and certification of technicians, amongst others.
GIZ Proklima, the German implementing agency is advising on technical issues and also in terms of fund mobilisation which has been very helpful in the phasing out of chlorofluorocarbons in Mauritius, recalled Mr Wong. The implementation of the Mauritius’ Hydrochorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan is ongoing, and we will at a later stage embark on the phasing-down of the hydrofluorocarbons, he underlined.
The refrigeration and air-conditioning sector is responsible for a significant share of global greenhouse gas emissions due to low efficiency levels and high leakage rates of refrigerant gases which have high global warming potential, the Minister pointed out. This share, he added, is expected to rise to 30% by 2030, especially from Africa in view of the increasing demand for refrigeration and air-conditioning.
In order to mitigate both direct and indirect emissions from the cooling sector, the introduction and diffusion of green cooling technologies is therefore of paramount importance, he stressed, adding that the Green Cooling Initiative aims at helping Africa to embark on a Climate-friendly Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Development Pathway.
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