Kenya to phase out ozone depleting substances

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TRAVEL GAZETTE – Kenya has partnered with multilateral agencies to re-activate projects aimed at hastening the elimination of chemicals that destroy the ozone layer, officials said on Tuesday.

Leonard Kirui, the coordinator at the National Ozone Office in the Ministry of Environment, said at a public forum in Nairobi that Kenya was committed to phasing out production and use of chemicals that harm the ozone layer.

“There is a broad based consensus in the country on the need to phase out ozone depleting substances as part of climate change mitigation,” Kirui said.

Senior policy makers, scientists and campaigners attended the national workshop on highlighting Kenya’s progress towards elimination of ozone depleting chemicals including hydrofluorocarbon (HFCs), halon, methyl bromide and black carbon.

Kirui said the Kenyan government had focused on innovative strategies to re-energize the momentum towards phasing out the use of these chemicals in key sectors of the economy.

“Kenya has domesticated global conventions that call for drastic reduction in the use of ozone depleting substances. We have reawakened the scientific and policy debate on the need to protect the ozone layer,” said Kirui.

He added that multilateral agencies had supported local interventions aimed at limiting the use of these chemicals.

The ozone depleting chemicals are widely used in Kenya’s manufacturing, transport, health and agriculture sectors.

Kirui disclosed that a revamp of existing policies and legislation, capacity building, financing and public awareness will re-energize national efforts aimed at phasing out ozone depleting substances.

“We have improved the capacity of state agencies like customs and the environmental watchdog to implement national activities geared towards elimination of ozone destroying chemicals,” Kirui said, adding that Kenya had adopted global leading practices on limiting production, importation and use of chemicals that harm the ozone layer.

Kenya has also mobilized African states to support amendments to the Montreal Protocol that was established in 1987 to revitalize global momentum towards elimination of ozone depleting substances.

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