Although the Equator, the line that divides our planet into northern and southern hemispheres, crosses the entire globe, it is 6 kilometers to the north of Quito, where it finds its highest point (2,464 meters above sea level).
At higher altitudes, the solar radiation is stronger and people are more prone to suffering its effects. However, the almost three million Quito residents can sleep peacefully. A major step has been taken, in the conservation of the ozone layer, thanks to the Ministry of Industry of Ecuador, with the support of UNIDO and the Andean Union of Cements (UNACEM).
After replacing of inefficient domestic refrigerators, UNIDO started a CFC recovery in 2011 and in parallel develop the trials and test for Ozone Depleting Substances destruction and environmental certification. Having achieved this important milestone, Ecuador is successfully destroying 2.5 Tons of unwanted refrigerant with ozone potential depletion.
CFCs revolutionized the world of chemistry in the early 1930s. Forty years later and after intense use, it was discovered that despite not being toxic to humans, when released into the environment CFCs have the capacity to decompose ozone molecules.
"For every kilo of CFC that is vented many ozone molecules become O2 in a chain reaction and 10,800 CO2 equivalent kilos of global warming gases are released. And that's not all. CFCs can remain in the atmosphere for more than 100 years," says Rodrigo Serpa, UNIDO Project Manager.
To address this threat, the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1989. It is an Environmental Agreement with the objective to phase out the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances such as CFCs. Since then, all countries in the world have signed and ratified the treaty and its amendments.