Division of Technology, Industry and Economics

About the branch

Under the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer, countries worldwide are taking specific, time-targeted actions to reduce and eliminate the production and consumption of man-made chemicals that destroy the stratospheric ozone layer, Earth’s protective shield.

The objective of the Montreal Protocol is to phase out ozone depleting substances (ODS), which include CFCs, halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, and HCFCs. One hundred ninety-six governments have joined this multilateral environmental agreement and are taking action.

The UNEP DTIE OzonAction Branch assists developing countries and countries with economies in transition (CEITs) to enable them to achieve and sustain compliance with the Montreal Protocol. With our programme's assistance, countries are able to make informed decisions about alternative technologies and ozone-friendly policies.

The Branch has the distinction of implementing more than 1,000 projects and services that benefit of more than 100 developing countries and 7 CEITs, plus other services that assist another 40 developing countries.

OzonAction has three areas of work:

  • Assisting developing countries in UNEP's capacity as an Implementing Agency of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, through a Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP).
  • Assiting CEITs in UNEP's capacity as an Implementing Agency of the Global Environment Facility.
  • Specific partnerships with bilateral agencies and Governments. The Governments of the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have also provided bilateral support to UNEP over and above their contribution to the Multilateral Fund to undertake specific projects.

UNEP's partnerships under the Montreal Protocol contribute to the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals and implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan1.

Awards and recognition

During the 20th Anniversary celebrations held just prior and during the 19th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in September 2007, the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, its OzonAction Branch, and staff received awards in the categories of: Outstanding contributors, Implementers, Partners, Implementing Agency and staff, and Exemplary Projects undertaken Pursuant to Article 10 of the Montreal Protocol.

In May 2005, UNEP became the first ever UN programme to win the USEPA Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award. The prestigious prize was awarded to UNEP DTIE’s OzonAction Branch. Announcing the award, USEPA praised the ‘leadership and innovation of the OzonAction Programme’ and said ‘it has benefited well over 140 countries through its unique regional networks of National Ozone Units and global information clearinghouse’. Klaus Töpfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, commented, ‘the appreciation of the award panel highlighting UNEP’s leadership and innovation is not only rewarding but also encouraging for our further work. The Montreal Protocol is succeeding in its objective of phasing out the global production and consumption of ODS, but there is still much work left to be done, particularly in developing countries.’

A Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to UNEP (OzonAction Programme, Ozone Secretariat, Multilateral Fund Secretariat) by the President of Senegal, on 15 December 2005, for support to African countries in implementing the Montreal Protocol through UNEP’s capacity building and technology transfer activities.

On 4 October 2006, the Solar Chill Project has won the prestigious 2006 Cooling Industry Awards in the category "Environmental Pioneer" for refrigeration.
Organized annually by RAC magazine in theUnited Kingdom, the Cooling Industry Awards recognize developments of new technology and approaches that protect the environment and make commercial sense. The SolarChill Project was one of 12 winners, alongside some of the world's biggest retailers, major end users, and refrigeration professionals. Solar Chill won the award for the "Environmental Pioneer – Refrigeration" category. The award ceremony took place on 4 October 2006 in London.

On 4 May 2011, Refrigerants, Naturally! , a public-private partnership conceived and supported by UNEP, has been awarded the prestigious Roy Family Award given by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The award is presented every two years to a project of public-private partnership that enhances and protects the environment through unique, novel and creative approaches. Reviewers praised Refrigerants, Naturally!’s impact on an important and often overlooked problem – persistent fluorinated gases (so called F-gases such as CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs) in our atmosphere – and held it up as a pragmatic and effective example of corporations and environmental organizations working together to reduce severe threats to the global environment. See photos.