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Lithuania to phase out polluting gases used for refrigeration and air conditioning


Lithuania, in the same manner as the other European Union member states, has to make up its mind on whether to ratify the amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which obligates the parties to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These fluorinated greenhouse gases are most often used in refrigerating and air conditioning equipment.

After negotiations that had lasted as many as seven years, a deal on the amendment was reached by almost 200 states at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol held a month ago in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The deal will come into force on 1 January 2019, provided that at least 20 countries have ratified it.

According to Marija Teriošina, head of the Chemical Substances Division of the Pollution Prevention Department of the Ministry of Environment, this agreement is a big victory in combating climate change.

The use of HFCs began at the end of the last century in order to replace substances that deplete the ozone layer. The applications of these gases are growing rapidly, leading to annual increases of emissions of up to 10 pct. However, the greenhouse gas effect caused by HFCs has an adverse impact on climate change. As the world countries phase out HFCs, global warming could be prevented up to 0.5 degree Celsius by the end of this century.

Developed countries, including Lithuania, should begin phasing out HFCs already from 2019. The consumption of HFCs should drop by 85 percent by 2036. In most developing countries, it should stop growing from 2024, and in some of them from 2028.

Communication Division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas