Zimbabwe’s environment minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said Friday that the country had made significant progress in phasing out ozone-depleting substances (ODS) under the completed hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) phase-out management stage one.
In a speech to mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer which falls on Sept. 16, the minister said Zimbabwe has embarked on the second stage of eliminating ozone-depleting substances with the target to completely phase out their use by 2030.
The second stage, to be implemented in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Development Program, will enable the country to eliminate the use of HCFCs by Jan. 1, 2030 and this will result in more climate benefits as these substances have high global warming potentials, Ndlovu said.
“I greatly appreciate the technical and financial support my ministry has received from these implementing agencies,” he said.
The Ministry of Environment was also working with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to train customs officers to equip them with tools and skills to combat illegal trade in banned ODS and contaminated refrigerants across the country’s borders.
Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer which was signed on Sept. 16, 1987 and ratified by UN parties.
Ndlovu said through global cooperation under the Montreal Protocol, most of the ozone-depleting substances have been phased out, with the “ozone hole” in the stratosphere now healing and in turn protecting human health, economies and ecosystems.