Achieving climate benefit through smart technology choices
While the international community is celebrating this year, the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the world’s most successful environmental agreement, related environmental issues are gaining redoubled importance.
Countries have started their phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and the obstacles in meeting the Montreal Protocol 2013 freeze and the 2015 reduction targets of 10 % can be many. It includes, among others, the choice of technology replacement to protect both the ozone layer and the climate.
“To achieve the climate benefits, the countries need to focus on doing the right selection of alternatives”, said Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary of the UNEP Ozone Secretariat. “Not only the chemicals but also the technologies that they will follow in order to accrue the potential benefits that are much needed,” he added.
Climate benefits can only be achieved if low – or zero – global warming potential and energy efficient alternatives replace HCFCs. The good news is that these alternatives exist and are already being used.
Alternatives to HCFCs in the Foam Sector: Taking on the Challenge » is a 15 min short documentary developed by UNEP OzonAction Branch that seeks out answers from the technical and scientific experts closest to the issue and showcases some inspiring conversion projects. With financial assistance and technology transfer facilitated by the Protocol's Multilateral Fund, developing countries are already taking on this uphill battle, thus paving the way for the adoption of ozone and climate friendly alternatives to HCFCs.
“A transition from HCFCs to low GWP and energy efficient alternatives has already started worldwide. From Brazil to Swaziland, a number of foam sector projects are showing us the way”, stated Jim Curlin, OzonAction Interim Head of Branch. “This short documentary is designed to help governments and industries in developing countries make informed decisions about the technologies needed to replace the use of HCFCs – to the achievement of the common goal to protect the ozone layer and the global climate system,” he added.
Industry is still looking for long term low and zero GWP in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector. However this short documentary shows enough compelling evidence that countries can move away from high GWP alternatives. This documentary also demonstrates that with further research, technology transfer, backed by financial incentives, training of technicians, we have the power to help close the climate gap and protect the ozone layer for now and the future.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Anne Fenner, Information Manager, UNEP OzonAction Programme, Tel: +33 1 4437 1454; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.
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...”
The Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol is managed by an Executive Committee which is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Fund. The Committee comprises seven members from developed and seven members from developing countries. The 2012 Committee membership includes Belgium, Canada, Finland, Japan, Romania, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America (developed countries) and Argentina, China, Cuba, India, Kenya, Jordan and Mali (developing country members) and is chaired by Mr. Xiao Xuezhi (China). The Committee is assisted by the Fund Secretariat which is based in Montreal, Canada.