Final National Stakeholder Workshop on the Implementation of Enabling Activities for HFC Phase-down and Country Assessment Report

20th June,2019 The National Ozone Unit of the Department of Climate Change under the Ministry of MEIDECC hosted the Final National Stakeholder Workshop on the Implementation of Enabling Activities for HFC Phase-down and Country Assessment Report today, at Basilica Conference Room.

Principal Ozone Officer and Head of Division, Mr. Uikelotu Vunga said, the workshop is organized to present the implementation of the Enabling Activities that were implemented over the last 17 months since its approval.

“This workshop will discuss findings and recommendations of the Country Assessment Report in details with you stakeholders who are present here today. As this Country Assessment Report will guide the Government related to the implementation of the Kigali Amendment, your feedbacks as the national stakeholders to be involved in the Kigali Amendment are extremely important for the government to finalize the report that suit the country context.”

The UN Environment is supporting Tonga to implement Enabling Activities for the HFC Phase-down Project in order to meet its initial obligations under the Montreal Protocol.

“I am pleased to inform that Tonga is now in the process of amending the Ozone Layer Protection Act of 2010 to reflect these Kigali Amendment requirements. One of the main activities carried out under the Enabling Activities project is the development of the Country Assessment Report, which provides comprehensives overviews related to HFC phase-down in holistic approach.”

The Country Assessment Report will review the existing mechanisms of ODS control in Tonga, identify gaps and challenges in implementing HFC phase-down, understand what Tonga needs to prepare in terms of policy, market and capacity building and develop a roadmap for actions.

UN Environment Montreal Protocol Enabling Activities Consultant, Ms. Jiwon Rhee said Tonga has shown very good progress in fulfilling its commitment under the protocol such as phasing out CFCs in 2010 and the endeavour to phase out HCFCs by 2030.

“In Kigali, Rwanda, Parties to the Montreal Protocol has agreed to phase out HFCs. HFCs are used as alternatives to ozone depleting substances including equipment. They do not harm the ozone layer but they play a role in warming the climate. This Kigali Amendment to phase out HFCs has entered into force in 1st of January, 2019.”

“72 countries in the world have ratified the amendment as of today and Tonga was one of the fastest to act. Tonga ratified the Kigali Amendment on the 18th September, 2018. It was one of the first 20 countries to have ratified the amendment.”

She said that the ratification of the Kigali Amendment demonstrates Tonga’s commitment to international environment protection especially the ozone layer and climate change.

“At this stage it is very important for Tonga to understand the implications of the Kigali Amendment and be well prepared to meet its initial obligations.”

Tonga’s initial obligations include –

  • The need to report HFCs consumption data to the Ozone Secretariat under the Article 7 of the Montreal Protocol
  • Establishing a licensing system for HFCs in accordance to the Montreal Protocol Article 4 (b), and;
  • The need to freeze the consumption of HFCs by 2024.

Participants include reps from line ministries and relevant stakeholders.