Qatar will stop importing the ozone depleting substances - chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) - by 2010 and reduce the consumption of hydrocholorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 10%, a ministry of environment official said at a workshop yesterday.
Ozone depleting substances (ODS) is a compound of substances such as CFCs, HCFCs, halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform that contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion.
CFCs and HCFCs are being used in the air-conditioning, refrigeration and foam industries but they release hazardous substances into the ozone layer, which could cause skin cancer, damage eyes, affect fish and other marine life as well as suppress body immune system when they are filtered through sun’s rays.
The aim of the workshop was to provide the national environmental authority of Qatar with a roadmap to prepare the HCFCs phase-out management plan (HPMP).
The one-day meeting also addressed issues related to current legislation and regulation for controlling the import, export and use of ODS.
The workshop was organised by the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in co-operation with the ministry of environment and Qatar Oryx ASHRAE Chapter.
Ozone expert Waleed al-Emadi said ODS phase-out schedule in the country was under the Montreal Protocol - the international treaty governing the protection of stratospheric ozone established in 1996.
“The 19th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer held in Montreal, Canada in September 2007 requires prompt action from developing countries to comply with the new phase-out measures that includes a freeze in 2013 and based on 2009-2010 levels and reductions of 10%, 35%, 67.5%, 97.5% over the years 2015, 2020, 2025 and 2030 respectively,” he said.
The official said though the consumption of these substances is increasing in the country as they are needed in the refrigeration and air conditioning systems, the target was to ensure there is no more importation of CFCs into Qatar by 2010. He added that at present the country does not produce ODS.
The official said that the HCFCs’ total phase-out is expected between 2013 and 2015 adding that the country is no longer consuming other hazardous substances such as carbon tetrachloride and trichloroethane.
“A law issued on August 14, 2007 bans the importation and use of ODS by any industry without the permission of the ministry of environment and penalties for flaunting this order is a three-month jail term or fine of up to QR100,000 or both,” al-Emadi said.
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