October 25, 2021, 10:16 am
Staff Reporter: Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin said climate-friendly alternative technologies have been encouraged in the Hydrochlorofluorocarbon Phase Out Management Plan Stage-2 launched in Bangladesh to protect the ozone layer. The implementation of the Stage-2 project will open the door for export of air conditioners produced in Bangladesh. To this end, the government is providing special opportunities for manufacturers of refrigeration and air-conditioning products to pay taxes and VAT. The government has taken initiative to promote refrigeration as one of the sectors after garment industry for the purpose of export development. The minister said if the converted ACs are energy efficient, they will meet the domestic demand as well as increase export opportunities.
The Environment Minister said this while speaking as the chief guest at a discussion meeting organized by the Department of Environment on the occasion of World Ozone Day 2021 on Thursday under the theme ‘Montreal Protocol- keeping us, our food and vaccines cool.’
The Environment Minister said Bangladesh is one of the partners in the success of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol adopted to protect the ozone layer. The role of the Montreal Protocol in making the refrigeration system up-to-date and environmentally friendly in preserving food and vaccines against current corona is commendable. Bangladesh has passed all the stages of implementation of the Montreal Protocol in a timely manner and is complying with the obligations of the Protocol. Although hydrochlorofluorocarbons have extremely low ozone depletion capacity, they have a high potential for global warming. Therefore, work is underway to phase out HCFCs used in air conditioning, fire fighting and foam sectors.
The Environment Minister hopes that the Kigali Amendment in 2016 will not only protect the ozone layer, but also the Montreal Protocol in tackling climate change. He said Bangladesh has been praised and rewarded by the United Nations Environment Program in 2012 and 2017 in recognition of the very successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol. In addition, the World Customs Organization, the United Nations Environment Program and the Ozone Secretariat awarded the Department of the Environment in 2019 in recognition of significant contributions to controlling the illegal entry and import of ozone depleting substances. The Minister also sought the cooperation of all concerned, including the UNDP, in implementing the remaining programs under the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer.
Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md. Mostafa Kamal chaired the meeting. Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar, Additional Secretary (Development) Ahmed Shamim Al Razi, Additional Secretary (Climate Change) Md. Mizanul Hoque Chowdhury, Additional Secretary (Environment) Md. Moniruzzaman, Director General of the Department of Environment Md. Ashraf Uddin and UNDP Resident Representative Sudipta Mukherjee spoke as special guests at the discussion meeting. Md. Ziaul Haque, Director, Ozone Depleting Substance Project, presented the keynote address at the meeting. Representatives of various government and non-government organizations participated in the open discussion.
The Environment Minister presented the Innovation Award 2020, National Integrity Strategy Award 2020 and Environment Olympiad Award 2021 at the event.