Montreal Protocol: Fixing the Ozone Layer and reducing Climate Change

Phosphine Generator in use at NCPB.

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND FORESTRY

State Department for Environment and Climate Change

16TH SEPTEMBER, 2023

WORLD OZONE DAY (WOD 2023)

THEME: “Montreal Protocol: Fixing the Ozone Layer and reducing Climate Change”

Cabinet Secretary’s Statement

On Saturday 16th September, Kenya joins the international community in marking the 2023 World Ozone Day, also known as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

 During this year’s commemoration of the World Ozone Day, Kenya and the rest of the world will celebrate the immense contribution of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in not only preserving the ozone layer but most critically, in helping fight the global climate crisis.

The theme for the 2023 World Ozone Day is, “Montreal Protocol:  Fixing the Ozone Layer and reducing Climate Change”

The annual commemoration of World Ozone Day is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the Montreal Protocol as a global climate change mitigation tool and the growing urgent need for concerted action to address the worsening climate crisis through the Kigali Amendment that was adopted as a measure to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), substances that are recognized for having negative impact on Climate because of their global warming potentials (GWPs).

1987 Montreal Protocol

World Ozone Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Protocol is instrumental in protecting human health, environment and climate.

On this day, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry reaffirms its appreciation to the United Nations (UN) and Bilateral Agencies for their support in implementing the Montreal Protocol requirements in Kenya. The effective implementation of the Montreal Protocol requirements has ensured that Kenya is not compliant with the Protocol but also leverages on partners support to enhance it’s climate action.

It is important to note that the Montreal Protocol, and its Kigali Amendment have raised awareness of the need to develop sustainable and efficient solutions in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector to meet future cooling demands including cold chain initiatives for food preservation. To this end, Kenya has developed and rolled out a National Cooling Action Plan (NCAP) whose objective is to enhance access to sustainable cooling for all Kenyans.

Collective global undertaking

When the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this day as an International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, with the main aim of sensitizing people on the need for the Ozone Layer protection, it indicated that the responsibility of protecting mankind’s heritage is a collective global undertaking.

It is therefore, the responsibility of every Kenyan to protect the environment as required of us by the Kenyan Constitution and the Environmental Management and Coordination Act No 8 of 1999 under the general principles which state that, “Every person in Kenya is entitled to a clean and healthy environment and has the duty to safeguard and enhance the environment”.

Preservation of the ozone layer is one of the major environmental concerns for the international community today.  For this reason, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry will spare no effort in ensuring that the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are fully implemented in Kenya.

Technicians with R290 Air Conditioner in a workshop during a training session.

The Ministry’s Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) is the focal point of ozone monitoring and research activities in Kenya. The ozone monitoring and research programme is conducted within the context of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) programme that’s coordinated from KMD’s Mt.Kenya station.

Climate and ozone friendly technologies

As a Ministry, our responsibility is to support and encourage industries to adopt technologies that are ozone and Climate friendly. As part of this solemn obligation, the Ministry continues to work with partners and stakeholders in ensuring that Kenya attains complete phase-out of ozone depleting substances and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). We are determined to ensure that this objective is met within the broad principles stipulated by the ozone treaties.

Regarding the phase down of HFCs, I am pleased to note that Kenya is at the tail end of ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The amendment was recently ratified by Parliament and we are proceeding to deposit the ratification at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) next week.

Under true partnerships among key stakeholders, it is essential that we all continue to enhance awareness creation on the protection of the ozone layer as a critical climate change mitigation intervention as well as ensure that the agenda of adopting ozone and climate friendly technologies in Kenya is pursued relentlessly.

As the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, we once again commit to the protection of the ozone layer and by so doing, ensure that Kenya’s current and future generations are safeguarded from the harmful effects of ozone depletion that include health complications resulting from exposure to the harmful ultra-violet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Principal Secretary Statement

As a signatory to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, as well as all the Protocol’s Amendments, Kenya will on Saturday, 16th September join the rest of the world in marking this year’s World Ozone Day. The national celebration will be held at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST) in Nakuru County.

World Ozone Day is a day established by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness on the importance of the ozone layer. It is celebrated on 16th September every year to commemorate the date of the signing in 1987 of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Every year, the World Ozone Day is celebrated with a unique theme. This theme is provided by the United Nations and is the basis of numerous events, debates and celebrations around the world. This year's theme is “Montreal Protocol:  Fixing the Ozone Layer and reducing Climate Change”.

The main purpose of commemorating World Ozone Day is to raise awareness on the need to preserve the ozone layer as climate change mitigation measure by encouraging people to take actions that are both ozone and climate friendly.

Worsening global climate crisis

Besides its critical role in safeguarding the earth from global warming, a scientific phenomenon that leads to climate change and ultimately to the worsening global climate crisis,  ozone layer is very important for protecting human health from the harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun. The depletion of ozone layer has variously been attributed to the growing caseload of skin cancer, eye cataracts and immune ailments. Plant, animal and marine lives are also not spared from the harmful UV radiation.

Technicians at practical session while charging a system with R600a in a workshop during a training on safe use of hydrocarbon refrigerants.

Therefore, the main objective of the Montreal Protocol has been to phase out production and consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and replace them with alternatives that are not harmful to ozone layer. Some of these alternatives are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which have since been determined to be greenhouse gasses, responsible for climate change. Faced with this reality, the international community in 2016 pushed through the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The amendment introduced control measures for reducing production and consumption of HFCs.

Under the Montreal Protocol, controlled substances are classified according to their chemical family and are listed in group annexes to the Protocol. For each group annex, the Montreal Protocol sets out a schedule/timetable for either the phase out or phase down of production and consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) and Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) respectively, with the aim of eventually eliminating them completely.

Kenya has phased out most of the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), which include; chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons (firefighting chemicals), methyl bromide in soil fumigation, among others.

Partner support and stakeholder participation

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry is implementing two multilateral funded projects, namely; Institutional Strengthening implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP), funded by the Government of France and implemented by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) Proklima.

In phasing out HCFCs in the refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) sector, Kenya has adopted ODS alternatives such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. However, HFCs are global warmers and that many low global warming potential refrigerants have either flammable or toxic properties or operate at high pressure. HFCs are ozone friendly but, have negative impacts on climate and are now controlled under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

Further, the Ministry in collaboration with GIZ Proklima is implementing the Green Cooling Initiative III (GCI III) project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. In addition, GIZ procured RAC tools and equipment have been distributed to some of the RAC training institutions. The  Kigali Implementation Plan (KIP) preparation is underway for the management of HFCs.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry through the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in collaboration with GIZ Proklima, Customs Department of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Training Institutions with RAC courses and Private sector has trained over 200 customs officers and more than 1,000 Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Service Technicians, on control measures in ODS imports/exports and good practices during repair and maintenance of refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) equipment respectively. Further, the RAC technicians have been trained on safe use of hydrocarbons refrigerants as alternatives to HCFCs and HFCs.

ODS phase-out activities

The successful implementation of ODS phase-out activities in the country would not have been possible without the close cooperation of all key stakeholders especially the industry, line ministries and departments, academic, research institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the media among partners and stakeholders.

The Ozone Secretariat, the Multilateral Fund Secretariat, the Implementing agencies, namely; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO), and Bilateral partners, namely; Australia, Canada, France, and GIZ Proklima have played a key role in supporting the Government of Kenya, both technically and financially, in making the ODS phase-out activities a great success. The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry sincerely appreciates the roles played by all of our partners.

"Kenya and Germany – strong partners for protecting the Ozone Layer and Mitigating Climate Change"

Statement of H.E. Sebastian Groth, Ambassador of the German Mission to Kenya, Somalia and the Seychelles  

The ozone layer is essential for life on Earth, shielding us from the sun's harmful rays. To raise global awareness of its significance, the United Nations initiated the 'International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer' 20 years ago, observed every year on 16 September.

The Montreal Protocol, established in 1987, and its 2016 Kigali Amendment, are global agreements aimed at safeguarding life on Earth by phasing out substances that deplete the ozone layer or contribute to global warming. Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer – which was severely damaged 30 years ago - is recovering, protecting millions from skin cancer, cataracts, and mitigating climate change.

The Montreal Protocol requires all participating states to phase out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. It is the only universal environmental agreement signed by all member countries of the UN. The supplementing Kigali Amendment now also regulates the use of climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons , which have been introduced as alternatives to ozone-depleting substances.

The German government actively supports Kenya in implementing the Montreal Protocol, preserving the ozone layer and addressing the climate crisis through the PROKLIMA program, implemented by GIZ. In concrete terms, Germany supports Kenya in eliminating the use of ozone-depleting gases and harmful greenhouse gases that are used in refrigeration and air conditioning appliances. Our shared objective is to drastically cut emissions through green cooling technologies, which use natural refrigerants that neither harm the climate nor the environment, but possess the same or better energy efficiency. To achieve this objective, PROKLIMA offers policy guidance, training for technicians and trainers, and technology transfer within pilot projects.

The demand for cooling is surging due to rising temperatures, population growth, and rapid urbanization. However, cooling significantly impacts the ozone layer and climate due to high energy consumption and the emissions of refrigerants.

Since 2010, PROKLIMA, in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, has trained approximately one thousand Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) technicians in safe hydrocarbon refrigerant handling. It has also supported eleven technical training institutions in educating their trainers. Moreover, thirteen refrigeration trainers from twelve African countries were trained in Kenya to develop customized training models for local institutions.

Grain Chiller used at NCPB.

Furthermore, eleven institutions have received technical equipment, including fridges, freezers, and chillers using natural gas and refrigerant recovery units. Proper installation and maintenance are critical to emissions reduction, as refrigerant leakages from a conventional air conditioning system can release approximately two tons of CO2 equivalent annually. Recognizing that handling natural refrigerants requires specialized knowledge, PROKLIMA is aiding the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry in establishing a training and certification scheme for RAC technicians to enhance education, training, and harmonize standards.

In addition to training RAC technicians, we have also trained 167 customs officers in Ozone Depleting Substances control measures for imports and exports. We've provided analyzers to Kenya Revenue Authority, the Customs Service Department, and the National Environment Management Authority to identify refrigerants and prevent illegal imports.

Furthermore, the program has developed a strategy for the Kenyan RAC sector, offering policy recommendations. By implementing the National Cooling Action Plan, Kenya has the potential to significantly reduce national energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, positioning itself as a leader in the sustainable transformation of the cooling sector.

As we continue partnering with Kenya's Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, we anticipate the timely adoption of green cooling technologies in the country. Together, we aspire to change the refrigeration, air-conditioning, and foam sector for the better, minimizing environmental and climate impacts from private and commercial cooling systems while ensuring broader access to cooling for all.

Working with the people of Kenya on ozone and climate matters is a privilege, and we urge all Kenyans to actively participate in environmental conservation, thereby securing sustainable development for present and future generations.

THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL AND ITS KIGALI AMENDMENT

The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted on 16th September, 1987 and entered into force on 1st January 1989. The Protocol has achieved universal ratification

The main objective of the Montreal Protocol has been to phase out production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and replace them with alternatives that would not be harmful to the Ozone Layer. As per the Protocol, countries are to adopt control measures for the phase – out of the consumption and production of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). These control measures include control measures under the Kigali Amendment, for the phase – down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are not ODS but, they are powerful greenhouse gases that have significant global warming potentials (GWPs)

The Montreal Protocol has been amended five times with the Kigali Amendment being the fifth in a series of amendments to the Protocol

Under the Kigali Amendment, countries will phase down production and consumption of HFCs creating the potential to avoid up to 0.5 C of warming by the end of the century.

Ratification of Kigali amendment

Developing Countries including Kenya, that ratify the Kigali Amendment will have access to financial and technical support provided under the Protocol

Kenya has successfully put much efforts to ensure that phase out of controlled substances and adoption of ozone and climate friendly alternatives and technologies are achieved and sustained

Kenya has in place the Controlled Substances Regulations and licensing system, among other measures; to control imports and exports of ODS. The Regulations have been reviewed to include HFCs, chemicals controlled under the Kigali Amendment.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry is implementing two Multilateral Funded projects, namely; Institutional Strengthening implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) Phase out Management Plan (HPMP), funded by the Government of France and implemented by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) Proklima of Germany.

The Ministry in collaboration with GIZ Proklima is implementing the Green Cooling Initiative III (GCI III) project, funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. In addition, GIZ procured RAC tools and equipment have been distributed to some of the RAC training institutions.

Kenya has developed the National Cooling Action Plan (NCAP) whose objective is to enhance access to sustainable cooling for all Kenyans.

The Kigali Implementation Plan (KIP) preparation is under way for the management of HFCs.

Compliance with Montreal Protocol

To-date, Kenya is in compliance with the Montreal Protocol requirements. 2022 Article 7 and Country Programme (CP) consumption data (ODS & HFCs) effectively and timely collected, analyzed, reconciled, compiled, and submitted to the Ozone Secretariat and Multilateral Fund Secretariat respectively.

Kenya has received financial and technical support through Multilateral Fund Implementing and Bilateral Agencies to implement approved Multilateral Funded projects on phase out activities

The Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry through the National Ozone Unit (NOU) in collaboration with GIZ Proklima, Department of Customs and Border Control of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and Government Training Institutions with Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning (RAC) courses has trained customs officers on control measures in import and export of controlled substances and RAC technicians on good practices including safe use of flammable alternatives during repair and maintenance of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment respectively.

Capacity building and awareness creation

The training workshops are intended to bring awareness, acceptance and adoption of safe use and good practices, with the latest and safest Hydrocarbons (HCs) refrigerants.

Extensive theoretical and practical sessions are undertaken to build confidence to the trainees so that they could embrace the New Technologies on HCs Refrigerants while using related Tools and equipment.

During training, concerns on hydrocarbons (HCs) refrigerants flammability are highlighted and addressed comprehensively regarding how to handle, store and brazing of systems using hydrocarbons refrigerants as ozone and climate friendly alternatives to controlled substances

The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) used Methyl Bromide gas as the preferred pesticide for grain in its silos for many years. Due to the 2015 deadline, the Board was forced to consider other alternative fumigants. Through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) financially and technically facilitated the phase out of the ozone depleting substance and this aid consisted of four phosphine gas generators and a chiller for cooling grain in the silos.

Vertical profile ozone measurement…

The measurement of vertical profile of ozone that monitors the state of the Ozone Layer in Kenya commenced in 1996 at Kenya Meteorological Department headquarters in Nairobi.

The ascents are done every Wednesday at 9.00 am using electrochemical Cell (ECC) Ozonesonde, coupled to a radiosonde and a balloon filled with 3 bars of hydrogen gas.

On release, the balloon rises at an average speed of 4 to 5 m/s. The data collected from the ascent is archived, analysed and used for research to assess the state of the Ozone Layer in Kenya in line with the Vienna Convection.

Most of the ozone is found in the stratosphere (90%). The highest concentration of ozone in Kenya is at about 23 – 30 km above mean sea level, with maximum ozone value of 13.04 parts per billion (ppb), and a pressure of 20 hectopascal (hpa) at about 27km high.

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