Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone guards by phasing out the production and consumption of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion, and called Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987 and entered into force on January 1, 1989.
Pakistan ratified the Vienna Convention, Montreal Protocol in 1992. Commonly used ODSs in Pakistan were chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Halons, carbon tetrachloride (CTC) and Methyl Bromide. These ODSs were mainly used in the manufacturing of deep-freezers, refrigerators, foam blowing, fire extinguisher, process agents and solvents etc.
Pakistan has successfully phased out the 1st Generation of ODSs and is now working on phase out of 2nd Generation of ODSs. In this regard 10% reduction target of 2nd generation of ODSs i.e. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) has been achieved by 1st January, 2015.
Keeping in view Pakistan’s commitments to the international community, an National Ozone Unit (NOU) under the project entitled “Institutional Strengthening of Ozone Cell for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol” with the financial assistance of Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol has been established under the Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan since January 1996.
Objectives of the National Ozone Unit
The National Ozone Unit is following up and implementing all related activities such as legislative/regulatory measures, data reporting, mass awareness, implementation of HPMP, promotion of alternatives to CFC-based Metered Dose Inhalers and the accelerated phase out of the HCFCs etc.
This project ozone guards assists the Government of Pakistan to achieve its long-term goals to implement various ODSs phase out management plan (HPMP).
The NOU besides fulfilling the international commitments of Govt of Pakistan, aims to assist local industry in the preparation of phase out sub-projects; and disseminating information on ODSs free technologies and phase out activities. It also oversees and monitor import & usage of ODSs as well as implementation of phase out projects. The NOU is held responsible to establish and maintain data base regarding demand and supply of ODSs in the country.
NOU plays a critical role to formulate and enact policies and legislation for the phasing out of HCFCs in the country. NOU is facilitating the all local HCFC based industry for conversion of technology into ozone friendly technology.
The author is the National Project Director, National Ozone Unit, Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan.