Vietnam ozone layer protection efforts get $9.7 mln. funding

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An international fund has approved over US$9.7 million in aid for Vietnam's efforts to decrease ozone-depleting substances, an official said at a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday.

Most of the aid provided by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer will be assigned to 12 local foam producing businesses, Nguyen Khac Hieu, deputy chief the Hydro-Meteorological and Climate Change Department, was quoted as saying in a Tuoi Tre newspaper report.

The businesses are supposed to completely replace the current technology using the ozone-depleting substance HCFC-141b, a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon used as a solvent and as a foam blowing agent, with a new one using eco-friendly cyclopentane C5H10, Hieu said.

Hieu, whose agency works under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said the rest will be assigned to other activities like project management and media promotion.

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Since Vietnam signed the Montreal Protocol in January 1994, the country has so far removed 500 billion tons of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) often used in air conditioners and refrigerators, and 3.8 tons of halon, a fire extinguishing agent, the meeting heard.

A national plan announced last year revealed that Vietnam would need more than $30 million to remove 3.7 trillion tons of HCMFCs over the next 20 years.

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