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3 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Promotion of green technology: Bangladesh’s achievements

Bangladesh is now in the process of ratifying the Kigali Amendment- a legally binding climate agreement to phase down the manufacture and use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
Arif M. Faisal, Dr. Mohammad Ismail and Dr. S. K Purkayastha
Promotion of green technology: Bangladesh’s achievements

The Montreal Protocol (MP), the only universally ratified international legally binding treaty and the Phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) are two sides of the same coin. This treaty provides an outstanding example of global shared responsibility, transparency and equitable governance. MP also represents an efficient financial and market transformation mechanism through public-private partnership for protecting our environment. Furthermore, it has demonstrated exemplary collaboration between developed and developing countries on technology development and transfer for achieving climate goal.

Due to the high global warming potential of ODS e.g., Chloro-flouro-carbons (CFCs), Hydro-chloro-fluoro-carbon (HCFCs) etc., their phase-out will protect the ozone layer. Furthermore, with prudent technology and policy interventions, the phase-out of ODS can also result in significant reductions of direct and indirect CO2 equivalent emissions, there by protecting the climate system.

After ratification of MP on 2 August 1990, the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) implemented many conversion projects to phase out CFCs from aerosol, pharmaceutical and refrigeration sectors followed by a private-public partnership model through assistance from MP’s Multilateral Fund (MLF) and UNDP.

Aerosol sector CFCs phase-out project was implement at ACI Pharmaceuticals Limited in 2002. Metered Dose Inhaler conversion project was implemented through three leading pharmaceuticals companies (Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and ACME Laboratories) in 2012. Foam sector CFCs phase-out project was implemented through Walton Hi-tech Industries Ltd. in 2014. With support from MLF, UNDP and UN Environment, a series of projects were implemented in Bangladesh which transferred improved and climate friendly technology and changed production process of those private sector industries.

Bangladesh achieved 100 per cent phasing-out of most severely damaging ODSs, viz, CFCs, Carbon tetra chloride and Halons from pharmaceuticals, foam, refrigeration and air-condition(RAC) industries in 2010. All of these chemicals have a high global warming potential (GWP) and contribute substantially in global warming. Therefore, these projects (a total of 18 projects) supported Bangladesh to contribute significantly in climate change mitigation. It was estimated that a total of 580.40 Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) tons of CFCs use per annum was phased-out from the country.

Implementing the second phase of the MP, i.e., the phase-out of HCFCs which are nearly 2000 times more potent GHGs than Carbon -dioxide, brought even more significant climate benefits. In addition to emissions reduction from the phase-out of HCFCs, potential opportunities to leap-frog to energy efficient alternatives with low or zero GWP refrigerants. Accelerating the transition to alternative cooling technologies and gases used as refrigerants for common applications like air-conditioning, refrigeration, etc. met the dual goal of phasing out HCFCs and reducing climate impacts.

Considering the above situation, the GoB decided to adopt alternative technologies in such a way that the alternatives will be zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP), low or negligible GWP and energy efficient. In 2011, UNDP as a lead implementing agency prepared HCFCs Phase-out Management Plan (Stage-I) include one foam conversion project for Walton Hi-tech Industries Ltd., using an alternative propellant- ‘Cyclopentane’. Cyclopentane has an ODP of ‘zero’ and GWP of ‘3’ and is more energy efficient than other propellants. The project phased-out annually 183.7 tons of HCFC-141b from the manufacturing of refrigerator insulation foam as a blowing agent.

Later on, UNDP prepared HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (Stage-II) in a ‘Private Public Partnership’ modality where five air-condition manufacturing companies were taken for conversion of HCFC-22 cooling substance to hydrocarbon-based HC-290.  HC-290 is zero ODS, low GWP material and also energy efficient. The project will result in  reduction of 24.52 ODP tones of HCFCs consumption and net annual reduction of direct 879,806 tons of CO¬2 equivalent emission from 2025. Apart from above mentioned investment activities, UN Environment, as co-operating agency is also implementing non-investment activities, such as capacity building of refrigeration technicians, enforcement for preventing illegal trade of ODS, awareness raising, etc.

Bangladesh achieved all the reduction target set in MP schedule successfully and UN Environment awarded “Certificate of Appreciation” to the GoB in its 29th Meeting of the Parties to the MP held on November 2017 in Montreal. It requires collaborative efforts from industry, governments, implementing agencies and developing partners to adopt strategies for achieving the goal of replacing HCFCs with low GWP, non ODS and energy efficient alternatives.

While many challenges remain, it is hoped that the continuing efforts to protect the ozone layer will move forward in the same spirit of dedication, cooperation and innovation that characterized in the initial efforts. With the support from all concern parties, the Protocol will go on to achieve its goal of protecting the ozone layer for present and future generations.

Bangladesh is now in the process of ratifying the Kigali Amendment- a legally binding climate agreement to phase down the manufacture and use of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by roughly 80-85% till 2045. This phase down is expected to arrest the global average temperature rise up to 0.5 degree Celsius by 2100 that will be useful for achieving the target set in Paris Agreement. This ratification will help the Bangladesh to promote- 1) energy efficiency (30 – 40% beyond current level in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning sector), 2) more climate-friendly cooling system, 3) enhance access to global climate funds and 4) create opportunity to jump-start the transition to lowest global warming potential cooling technology.

UNDP is supporting GoB to ratify the Kigali Agreement as well as reinforcing GoB and private sectors to adopt climate friendly technology to foster greener growth and to achieve climate target set in historical Paris Climate Agreement. We believe that Bangladesh will be the first and the lead developing country in successful reduction of HCFCs.

The experiences learnt in this area would significantly supports the country for future successes in green growth and climate change mitigation. It is often portrayed the country as global leader in climate change adaptation. In near future the country will also show good success and transformation in climate change mitigation.

Arif M. Faisal is Programme Specialist (Environment Sustainability & Energy), UNDP Bangladesh, Dr. Mohammad Ismail is Associate Professor, Department of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Dhaka and SK Purkayastha is Senior Officer, National Ozone Unit,

Department of Environment

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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