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St. Lucia to Phase Out CFC's by 2010

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Thursday, July 04, 2002 - St. Lucia is well on its way to meeting international obligations laid down by the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer and in phasing out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) on the island. The latest step toward that process took place recently when the Ministry of Planning and the Environment launched a new Import/Export Licensing System to control trade in ozone depleting substances.

Sustainable Development Officer in the Ministry of Planning and the Environment, Donnalyn Charles, says the effects of CFC’s can be seen in weakened immune systems in humans and animals. They can also be seen in increased signs of wear-and-tear on paint finishes to car and houses caused by direct ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Some of the main contributors of CFC’s are refrigerators and air conditioning units.

“Basically the licensing system is the key to reducing each country’s emissions of CFC’s. What happened was that all countries came together and decided on a phase out schedule, a time by which CFC’s would be phased out globally,” said Charles. For developed countries CFC’s have already been phased out. Developing countries on the other hand have asked for a longer phase out period. According to Charles, “for St. Lucia we have until 2010 and this will occur in phases. By 2005 we must reduce our consumption by 50%, by 2008 it must reach 85% and by 2010 it must be 0%.”

Under the new licensing system, as of July 1, 2002, a ban went into effect on the importation of all CFC-based goods and equipment. However, CFC-based goods and equipment imported into St. Lucia from July 1, 2002, must be retrofitted by a registered agent at the importer’s expense prior to release by customs. Additionally, all goods or equipment dependent on ozone depleting substances being sold must be clearly labelled to indicate the chemicals contained.

The Unit has put together brochures, documentaries and other bits of information to help sensitize the public to the new licensing system.


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