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Posted On: 24 November 2008 08:34 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar lauded for stand on ozone-depleting substances

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A DOHA declaration has stated that developing countries should phase-out, to zero level, the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons and tetrachloride by January 1, 2010. The declaration was part of a document agreed on by ministers of environment and heads of delegations at the recent joint meeting of the 8th conference of parties to the Vienna Convention on the protection of the ozone layer and the 12th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The declaration was also included in the document that developing countries should reduce their production and use of methyl bromide and methyl chloroform by 2015 and eventually eliminate their global production and consumption of HCFCs. Speaking to Gulf Times yesterday, the ozone expert at the Ministry of Environment, Waleed al-Emadi said the document touched on five issues. These were the destruction of ozone-depleting substances, a replenishment fund, atmospheric measurements, Qatar initiatives to establish monitoring station and an ozone layer and climate change research centre and the future of paperless meeting. “It will interest you to know that all these issues were raised by Qatar delegates at the meeting attended by 700 parties, the biggest gathering in the 20 years history of the Montreal Protocol and we are glad that all were equally approved,” he said. On efforts being made to assist the developing countries meet the set target and deadline, he said that a total of $490mn was being earmarked by G8 countries for technology transfer in the third world countries. “The G8 countries have always assisted developing countries on technology transfer and now they want to intensify efforts by voting this amount for those countries to be able to smoothly replace their old technology with latest ones thus facilitating the process of phasing out ozone depleting substances in their countries,” he explained. Al-Emadi noted that since 1991, the G8 have spent $3bn from a multilateral fund for technology transfer to developing countries, adding that the countries had been told to completely replace their technology through 2009. In the document, members acknowledged the progress that has been made to address the problem of ozone layer depletion through the global elimination of production of over 96% of historic level of ozone-depleting substances from 1987 to 2007. “We recognise that this progress was achieved through: * Co-operation between developed and developing countries, including provision being made to meet the needs of developing countries, as manifested by: the near universal participation in the protocol by all countries, efficiency and transparency of the protocol bodies, including the multilateral fund and its executive committee, the implementation committee, the assessment panels and the Ozone and Multilateral Fund Secretariats; * Triennial replenishment of the multilateral fund amounting to over $2.4bn from 1991 – 2008; excellent compliance by all parties with the protocol’s provisions; capacity building in all developing country parties to the protocol through funding of over 140 national ozone units; * Phase-out of more than 80% of the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances by the developing countries; agreement by all parties to accelerate the phase-out of their production and consumption of HCFCs; * A firm commiment to maximising and exploring the broad-reaching benefits of the protocol in particular to deterring climate change in addition to ozone layer protection. “Members also recognise the outstanding contribution of Qatari government in embracing and conducting , for the first time in the history of United Nations, a very successful paperless meeting, a practice which we hope will be extended to future meetings,” the document added.