by Hana Namrouqa | May 06,2012 | 22:51

DEAD SEA — Jordan has phased out all central cooling systems using chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), which damage the ozone layer, a government official said on Sunday.

A total of 1,500 tonnes of CFCs were phased out by replacing central cooling systems using CFCs in scores of public and private sector institutions, Ghazi Odat, director of the Ministry of Environment’s ozone project, said.

“Jordan’s national programme for phasing out the use of CFCs, which aimed at disposing of 1,500 tonnes of the harmful substance, was achieved one year ahead of schedule. It provided 165 institutions with technical and financial support for replacing their central cooling systems,” he said.

Odat made the remarks during a regional workshop that brought together experts in thermal insulation systems, where he noted that replacing systems using CFCs has helped reduce energy consumption.

CFCs damage the ozone layer by reducing its ability to absorb ultraviolet rays and allowing them to penetrate into the atmosphere, thus threatening life on Earth, according to experts.

In May 2010, the Kingdom received a $2.16 million grant from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol to support the disposal of ozone-depleting chemicals used in cooling systems.

Jordan is a signatory to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion.

In September last year, the Ministry of Environment launched a national strategy for phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), which also cause ozone depletion.

Odat underscored that the Montreal Fund executive committee had approved financing implementation of the strategy’s first phase, which aims at reducing the use of HCFCs by 20 per cent by 2017.

There are around 1,600 institutions in Jordan with central cooling systems that use HCFCs, which are compounds made up of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon atoms that were created in the 1980s as substitutes for CFCs for use in refrigeration and a wide variety of manufacturing processes.