Seychelles is focusing on ozone-layer-friendly technological appliances as it joins the second phase of the Green Cooling Africa Initiative.
Through the initiative, Seychelles will be able to replace appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioning units containing hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) with those using natural gases.
The principal secretary for energy and climate change, Wills Agricole, said that applications for refrigeration and air conditioning are increasing as they are essential in areas such as the preservation of food and medicine.
"As a result, greenhouse gas emissions also rise, because these applications consume electricity and most of these applications use fluorinated gases as refrigerants in their functioning," said Agricole.
The principal secretary added that "as these gases leak during operation, servicing or when an appliance is dismantled or disposed of, cause substantial emissions of greenhouse gases."
The project has been financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). It is being implemented by the German development agency GIZ in collaboration with the Seychelles Ozone Unit in the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.
The project manager of GIZ, Nika Greger, said that although Seychelles is a low consuming country, the island nation must join other countries in helping phase out these destructing gases.
"The project will also be collecting data appliances used by consumers in Seychelles. The result will be presented in the form of a roadmap that can serve as a strategy for the market and draft energy-friendly policies," said Greger.
Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, became the 5th country in Africa to be part of the Green Cooling Africa Initiative after Ghana, Namibia, Kenya and neighbouring island Mauritius.
The Green Cooling Africa Initiative is a programme supporting its partner countries to create a shift in the cooling sector towards more sustainable technology and a low mitigation pathway. It will enable all five countries to develop a clear understanding of how the cooling sector contributes to their national energy consumption and total Green House Gas emissions and where appropriate policy measures are required.
In an effort to reduce energy use in Seychelles, the Energy Commission is also setting energy efficiency standards for five types of electrical home appliances entering the country as of next year.
With the new standards, it will be mandatory for bulbs, freezers and refrigerators, air conditioners, electric water heaters and washing machines to meet the required minimum standard. The announcement was made by Minister of Finance Peter Larose in his budget address in October.