The global demand for refrigeration and air conditioning continues to grow, significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. In response to the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment, the sector is working to replace highly climate damaging hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants with more sustainable solutions. However, there is a blind spot left behind.
Outdated or end-of-life refrigerants, including foams, are not being managed in an environmentally sound manner, and lead to the accumulation of so-called ODS and HFC banks. These emit substances (CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs) that harm and deplete the ozone layer and contribute to global warming. Each year, approximately 1.5 Gt CO2-eq are released from improperly managed or disposed refrigerants. This corresponds to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 441 coal-fired power plants. Currently, there are no global agreements or infrastructures in place to address this challenge.
This is where COPA – the Climate Ozone Protection Alliance – steps in.
Together with partner countries and diverse actors, the Alliance accelerates the mitigation measures urgently needed to address accumulated amounts of Ozone Depleting Substances and Hydrofluorocarbons.
COPA works jointly with partner countries and diverse actors across private and public sectors to advance the holistic solutions needed to reduce ODS and HFC banks, and ultimately complete the shift in the cooling sector to sustainable refrigerant management.
Together with partners and stakeholders from academia, the private sector, civil society and policy makers, we are working on the following topics:
For an effective management of refrigerants and foams at end-of-life, suitable policy measures are required like venting bans or mandatory recovery.
Working towards the best technical solutions for ODS and HFC recovery,
reclamation and destruction.
Developing financial mechanisms for sustainable GHG mitigation measures in ODS and HFC banks.
Putting theory into practice and demonstrating how sustainable refrigerant management can be implemented.
Old appliances containing ODS and HFC substances represent a blind spot when it comes to climate action. At the same time this sector carries a huge cost-effective and sustainable mitigation potential. I am convinced that COPA can support a global shift to sustainable refrigerant management.