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Kenya pledges to phase out ozone depleting substances 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya is in the process of phasing out ozone depleting substances (ODS) and alternatives with high global warming potential (GWPs), a senior official said Friday.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judi Wakhungu, said that the phase-out will be achieved within the broad principles stipulated by the Montreal Protocol.

“We are supporting industries, companies and agricultural enterprises in adopting ozone friendly alternatives and technologies,” Wakhungu said in a speech during an event for the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

Wakungu said industries that relied on ODS in the past were now shifting to friendly alternatives and technologies.

Wakungu said there were plans to have schools and colleges in Kenya incorporate subjects on ozone layer, climate change and other environmental related issues in their curriculum.

“This will help ensure that students are taught about the importance of the ozone layer preservation and climate change early in life,” she added.

Kenya through the National Ozone Unit has trained over 300 refrigeration and air conditioning technicians on safe use of hydrocarbons and other natural refrigerants substitutes to Hydrofluorocarbons.

Officials from the Kenya Revenue Authority and the National Environment Management Authority have also been trained on measures on imports and exports of ozone depleting substances and their blends.

The ozone layer shields the earth from harmful ultra-violet radiation emanating from the sun causing skin cancer, eye cataracts, reduced plant and animal productivity, poor air quality, damage to plastics and impact on climate.

Kenya like many other developing countries is bearing the brunt of climate change impacts and the associated socio-economic losses.

Since signing Montreal Protocol in 1987, Kenya has introduced and adopted ozone friendly substances, replaced ODS-dependent equipments used in industries with ozone friendly equipments, and retrofitted refrigeration systems using ODS in government-run hospitals to ozone friendly systems.

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