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07 /2023

Driving Climate Action Together: Highlights from COPA's 1st Plenary Meeting

65 participants, 11 speakers, 19 countries, 5 thematic sessions – COPA’s first Plenary Meeting from 20th – 21st June 2023 was a great success! The agenda covered policy, finance, and technology cases, along with insightful updates on country activities and a warm welcome to the new Steering Committee.


"This first plenary meeting is an important milestone for the Climate and Ozone Protection Alliance towards becoming a member-driven alliance. I am convinced that COPA can play a key role in developing the holistic solutions needed in the cooling sector, while mobilizing and channeling climate and carbon finance to urgently needed concrete mitigation action." - Nicole Wilke, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany

Nicole Wilke from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany kindly opened the first day with her welcome remarks. She pointed out that the window of opportunity for climate action is closing, now is the time to step up mitigation action on ODS and HFC banks. That is why, COPA is indeed happening at the right time. After these inspiring words, Anssi Mikola, CEO and founder of RiverRecycle, whose mission is to remove plastic waste from the world's waterways gave an exciting keynote speech. In his learnings, he shared his journey with the development of River Recycle. In this place as well, there was an initial problem that appeared to be unsolvable, and nobody was willing to address it.

One highlight of the program was the introduction of the newly elected Steering Committee, who presented themselves to the Plenary and took up its function for the coming two years. View the new elected Steerig Commitee here

After the first session, a real policy case was presented; Kylie Farrelley from Refrigerant Reclaim Australia, which is the only approved product stewardship program of its kind in Australia, shared experiences on Extended Producer Responsibility for refrigerants. After a member network session and a short break, it was time for the first country session. Sergio Merino, National Ozone Officer at Mexico´s Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, presented the status quo of ODS and HFC banks management in Mexico and the COPA activities supported by UNIDO.

Day 1 concluded with a technical Case session where Veronica Villacis from UNIDO presented technical aspects, challenges and solutions related to the destruction of refrigerants in cement kilns, based on her experiences from Ecuador and other countries in Latin America. Afterwards Jose Luis, the owner of Regener, a Chilean company that established the first reclamation centre in Chile, gave an input on reclamation. He shared experiences on achievements and challenges in the implementation of the reclamation centre.

Day 2 began as Day 1, with welcoming words and an introduction of the elected Steering Committee, after that, it was time for the finance case. Luis Potok, Founder and CEO of Reecolit, presented his insights about recovery business models in Indonesia, sharing both opportunities and challenges with the voluntary carbon markets for the sector. Members then got the opportunity to get to know each other in different breakout rooms again. Afterwards, country representatives shared highlights of COPA activities in Ghana and China. Joseph Baffoe, acting director at the Climate Change and Ozone Department of the Environmental Protection Agency in Ghana, provided insights into initial results and key activities in Ghana. Building on previous projects, key activities of COPA in Ghana include supporting a local waste management company (ZEAL Environmental Technologies) in improving its conditions for ODS destruction as well as developing a collection and recycling/destruction chain for cooling appliances. The Chinese COPA activities were presented by Mr. Dou Yanwei, Chief Director at China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA), who presented ODS and HFC banks and potential management for the Chinese household electronic sector. Afterwards Wang Yin, technical advisor at GIZ, presented first results of an analysis of refrigerant management in the mobile air conditioning sector in China on behalf of the Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Center in China. 

Ellen Michel, head of COPA Secretariat, concluded the eventful two days and the first COPA Plenary Meeting with an outlook of coming activities and events.


 “We are pleased to report that the networking sessions were particularly well received by our members, with lively exchanges and discussion of new ideas. We are very much looking forward to working with our members and further build up this alliance of engaged organizations and governments to jointly cut refrigerants emissions. Once again, we would like to thank our speakers, for their insightful presentations, and thanks to all our participants for taking part.” Ellen Michel, Head of the COPA secretariat.