As government makes efforts to control chlorofluorocarbons and hydroflourocarbons, companies that trade in ozone depleting substances (ODS) have been invited to apply for import, export and transit permits for 2023. The Department of Meteorological Services (DMS), this week issued a statement, calling companies to make applications of import and export permits for ozone depleting substances.

According to the statement, the development is in line with the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Regulations, 2014 under the National Meteorological Service Act, 2014. “Under the ODS Regulations, 2014 Botswana as a Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, has an obligation to control, monitor, report on consumption, promote friendlier alternatives as well as raise awareness around the country to ensure compliance with the protocol,” said the statement.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the Montreal Protocol) is an international agreement designed to stop the production and import of ozone depleting substances and reduce their concentration in the atmosphere to help protect the earth's ozone layer. Government ratified the Montreal Protocol in 1992 and has been compliant with the set phase-out schedule thus maintaining zero consumption of chlorofluorocarbons since 2010.

Environment authorities have indicated that the Montreal Protocol and its amendments are important to the local economy as the country has relatively high ambient summer temperatures which make cooling a necessity to sectors such as hospitality, retail, industry and services, among others. Meanwhile, Botswana recently ratified the amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the Kigali Amendment, which recommends phasing down of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), which are frequently used as substitutes for ozone depleting substances. HFCs are powerful greenhouse gases that have significant global warming potentials.