PH hopes to ratify deal on super greenhouse gases ASAP
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines said it hopes to ratify the global deal to phase down powerful greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners "as soon as possible."
"The earlier, the better. If we can ratify [the Kigali] Amendment, we will be the first to become a recipient of whatever benefits we can derive out of this," Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones said on Thursday, September 14.
Adopted in October 2016, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer aims to reduce emissions of powerful greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that are commonly used as alternatives to ozone depleting substances (ODS).
The amendment is expected to enter into force on January 1, 2019, upon the ratification of at least 20 parties to the Montreal Protocol. Reducing HFCs under the amendment could prevent up to 0.5ºC of global warming by the end of the century. (READ: Whatever happened to the ozone layer?)
Under the amendment, the Philippines is expected to freeze by 2024 its importation of HFCs which can have high or very high global warming potentials ranging from about 12 to 14,800.
LOOK: Status of implementing of the Montreal Protocol in the Philippines pic.twitter.com/HZqDKvyoKq— Jee Y. Geronimo (@jeegeronimo) September 14, 2017
"Although the HFC is not an ozone depleting substance, pero ang effect naman niya magpapainit sa atin (but its effect is global warming), ibig sabihin 'yung effect ng (it means the effect of) climate change will be experienced," Leones explained.
He said the country is still in the initial stage of the ratification process which involves consultation with industries, concerned government agencies, and other stakeholders.
"Once we have prepared the dossier, we will be submitting this to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), and the DFA will be the one recommending to the President for the ratification of this Kigali Amendment, and once the President has ratified this Kigali Amendment, it will be transmitted to the Senate," Leones explained.
September 16 or the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer also marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol.
On Thursday, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu in a statement appealed to the country's refrigeration and air conditioning sector to support the gradual phase down of HFCs in the Philippines.
He said the Multilateral Fund for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol has provided over US$3.5 billion to developing countries to phase out ODS.
"This can definitely help affected sectors in the country to transition from HFCs to natural climate-friendly alternatives, such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrocarbons which do not cause global warming," he added.
Environment Undersecretary Juan Cuna said the Philippines is already in the process of exploring affordable and available alternatives to HFCs, but Leones admitted that the industry here cannot afford yet the alternatives already available in developed countries.
"For new appliances, I'm optimistic and confident that these are already ODS compliant. Ang fear ko lang diyan, 'yung mga old na existing, so papaano natin gagawin 'yun dahil 'yung mga iba hindi pa talaga? (I'm worried about the old and existing, how will we go about those appliances?)" Leones said.
He added: "So ang ginagawa natin, information dissemination, hoping that the public will participate and cooperate with us…. As much as possible, 'yung aircon, if the aircon is non-compliant, kung 'di mo naman papalitan, huwag mo naman laging gamitin. 'Pag umuulan patayin mo na muna so you can reduce effects on environment."
(So what we're doing is information dissemination, hoping that the public will participate and cooperate with us…. As much as possible, the aircon, if the aircon is non-compliant, and if you won't replace it, don't use it often. If it's raining, maybe you can turn it off first so you can reduce effects on environment.) – Rappler.com