Marija Šćulac Domac.jpg
Photograph: mzoip.hr

Croatia is the first country in the world to have phased out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are among the most harmful substances for the ozone layer, Assistant Environmental and Nature Protection Minister Marija Sculac Domac said on Thursday.

We are proud that Croatia is the first of 149 countries to have phased out the consumption of HCFCs, 26 years before the deadline set by the Montreal Protocol, she told reporters.

A project to phase out HCFCs in Croatia began in 2010, financed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and Croatia's Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund. Thirteen air conditioning units in hospitals and public institutions using the substances which deplete the ozone layer have been replaced with new ones using natural substances. Another 19 are to be replaced in public institutions by the end of 2015.

Under a national programme to stop using  substances which deplete the ozone layer, more than 25 projects totalling HRK 30 million have been carried out in Croatia over the 15 years, financed by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol and Croatia's Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.

Sculac Domac said the Montreal Protocol was the most successful international treaty enabling a significant reduction of substances depleting the ozone layer, which was expected to fully recover by 2050.

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