Ozone-friendly technologies get on the road
Bangkok, 9 May 2011 - The Maldives is hosting Asia's first ever ozone- and climate-friendly technology exhibition, the Ozone2Climate Technology Road Show, which began last weekend.
Studies have shown that the dramatic increase in emissions associated with the growth in global production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), chemicals commonly used in air-conditioning and refrigerating systems, has slowed the recovery of the ozone stratospheric layer, which protects life on Earth from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet rays. As well as depleting the ozone 'shield', HCFCs are also very powerful global warming gases that contribute to climate change when released.
Last year, the Republic of Maldives made a historic decision to phase out HCFCs by 2020, in line with its carbon neutrality policy, 10 years ahead of the Montreal Protocol phase-out schedule.
"As the Montreal Protocol has taught us, and as we have also seen in climate change, science and knowledge are the foundation that allows us to develop an international agenda for cooperation beyond national interests," said Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) during the Inaugural Session of the High Level Roundtable Dialogue on the initiation of the Maldives HCFC Phase Out Management Plan implementation.
The Ozone2Climate Technology Road Show is organized by UNEP's OzonAction Programme, in association with the Government of the Maldives and the Indian High Commission in the Maldives and in close partnership with GIZ on behalf of the Government of Germany, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the US Department of State. The event has been positioned to not only support the initiatives of the Government of the Maldives but also to supplement global efforts by showcasing technological alternatives and knowledge that will contribute to the achievement of the common goal of protecting the ozone layer as well as the climate system.
"The Montreal Protocol has already delivered significant climate benefits by phasing out CFCs and has bought more than a decade of time for the international community to act on mitigation of climate change. It has given the world breathing room to find solutions for a climate-resilient society. The Technology Road Show will demonstrate the need and provide technology pathways for urgent action by all stakeholders," said Rajendra Shende, Head of the OzonAction Programme.
More than 20 leading manufacturers of refrigeration and air-conditioning products from around the world will be exhibiting their equipment and technologies at the Road Show. In addition to the physical exhibition, the companies will also participate in the first virtual exhibition for ozone- and climate-friendly technologies to showcase their products on-line. This virtual exhibition was launched by the Vice President of Maldives during the Road Show and by the State Secretary of the Serbian Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning in Belgrade, during the Roundtable on Ozone- & Climate-Friendly Technologies in Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning, held on Tuesday and Wednesday (10-11 May).
The Belgrade roundtable is organized by the Serbian Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning together with the OzonAction Regional Ozone Network for Europe & Central Asia. The virtual exhibition can be seen from today at http://ozone2climate-virtualexpo.unep.org/
Mohamed Aslam, the Maldives' Minister of Housing and Environment, said: "The event will create a suitable environment for development of a potential market to strengthen inter-regional cooperation and encourage innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships aimed at scaling up investments in this important area. We are glad to learn that the important players like the captains of refrigeration and air-conditioning industry from USA, Japan, China, Germany, and India will be showcasing their alternate technologies at the event. Some of them are also planning to present their products to the Government of Maldives to be displayed at the permanent exhibition in Male".
The Road Show will also be attended by senior policy officials of South Asian and West Asian countries as it will be held back to back with the Joint Meeting of the Regional Networks of Ozone Officers for West Asia and South Asia and the industry roundtable on non-HCFC technologies that will be attended by industries and associations from these countries.
The event also saw a demonstration of SolarChill, a vaccine cooler designed for remote areas in developing countries where access to power supplies is difficult. SolarChill uses ozone- and climate-friendly hydrocarbon refrigerants and renewable energy and avoids lead acid batteries. The SolarChill project, in common with the Road Show, bridges human welfare, development and environmental concerns. It proves that it is possible to bring practical health benefits to people, through simple, cost-effective technologies that also protect the ozone layer and the global climate system.
For more information, please contact:
Atul Bagai, OzonAction Programme, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and Pacific on Tel. +6622881662 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Miruza Mohamed, Assistant Director, Environment Department, Ministry of Housing and Environment, Maldives on Tel. +960 300 4319 or E-mail email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987 and entered into force on January 1, 1989. Since then, it has undergone five revisions, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international cooperation "Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date..."
About the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) of UNEP DTIE
UNEP as an Implementing Agency of the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol has a unique regionalized programme that delivers compliance assistance services to countries to assist them meet the international commitments under the Protocol. The compliance regime requires countries to: achieve and sustain compliance, promote a greater sense of country ownership and implement the agreed Executive Committee framework for strategic planning.
UNEP through the Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) has moved from project management approach to a direct implementation initiative through its specialized staff. Consistent with the above approach the Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (ROAP) CAP team has developed to be the centre for policy advice, compliance guidance and conduct training to refrigeration technicians, customs officers and other relevant stakeholders on compliance issues, promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation and promote high-level awareness by utilizing UNEP's staff.
SolarChill aims to help deliver vaccines and refrigeration to regions of the world without electricity or with inadequate electrical supply. Solar Chill is developing a versatile refrigeration technology that is environmentally sound, battery free, technologically reliable, affordable and multi-source powered. It is a partnership of Danish Technological Institute, Greenpeace International, PATH, GIZ, UNICEF, UNEP and WHO.