Industry minister Mangaliso Ndlovu
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Zim implementing refrigeration standards

THE Zimbabwe government is working with key stakeholders to implement the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for domestic refrigeration and air conditioning appliances, a cabinet minister has said.

Environment minister Mangaliso Ndlovu said this in a statement to mark International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (World Ozone Day).

The United Nations General Assembly in 1994 designated September 16 of every year to commemorate the date in 1987 when nations signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The Ozone layer is a fragile shield of gas, which protects the earth from the harmful effects of the ultraviolet rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.

A number of commonly used chemicals have been found to be extremely damaging to the Ozone Layer, and these include fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine. Man-made chemicals that have provided most of the chlorine and bromine for Ozone Depletion are methyl bromide, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and families of chemicals known as halons, chloro[1]fluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

The phase-out of controlled uses of ozone depleting substances and the related reductions have not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations, but have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change.

Furthermore, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth.

Ndlovu said his ministry is working with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ), the department of Energy as well as Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) Associations to implement the MEPS with the aim of finding safe and environmentally friendly alternatives to Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and increasing the energy efficiency of cooling equipment.

He said the heating up of the planet due to global warming is increasing the need for air-conditioning in homes, supermarkets, schools and workplaces. To sustain the growth in cooling demand, there is need to find both safe and environmentally friendly alternatives to HFCs and increasing the energy efficiency of cooling equipment, he explained. —New Ziana

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