Our Work

Initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Climate and Ozone Protection Alliance brings together all relevant actors and joins forces to work towards the following vision and mission.


Vision & Mission



A global shift to sustainable refrigerant management
Closing the loop to a circular economy in the cooling sector



The Climate and Ozone Protection Alliance shines a light on a blind spot in the fight against climate change – super-pollutant refrigerant emissions from old and existing cooling equipment through their lifecycle.

Together with partner countries and diverse actors, the alliance accelerates the mitigation measures urgently needed to address banks of Ozone Depleting Substances and Hydrofluorocarbons.

It devises and carries out holistic solutions that combine financing, policy making and expertise in recovery, reclamation and destruction technologies with hands-on experience in the cooling sector.


Find out more about how we work in these areas by clicking the correpsonding link  for the active thematic working groups.



For an effective management of refrigerants and foams at end-of-life, suitable policy measures are required like venting bans or mandatory recovery

Learn more



Working towards the best technical solutions for ODS and HFC recovery,
reclamation and destruction

Learn More



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.



For COPA, UNIDO seeks to support countries in end-of-life strategies, sustainable business models, and green financing when promoting circular value chains for RAC equipment.

Ole Nielsen, Chief Montreal Protocol Division at UNIDO

COPA for a sustainable development

 How does COPA contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals?



In September 2015, all United Nations member states agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the centrepiece of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs are an urgent call for developed and developing countries to work in a global partnership towards a sustainable economic growth that is compatible with social justice within ecological limits. Additionally, the Paris Agreement on climate change was signed the same year to ensure compliance with the SDGs in this area. The treaty provides a roadmap for emission reduction measures and building climate resilience. More information on the Sustainable Development Goals can be found here: The 17 Goals.

The Alliance’s climate actions contribute to 7 SDGs of the United Nations, with some SDGs more strongly linked to COPA than others. Strongly COPA connected SDGs are SDG 12, 13 and 17, as detailed below:


Goal 12

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

If refrigeration systems are not disposed of properly, the materials get lost and climate-damaging refrigerants are released. COPA supports the goal to achieve environmentally sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle and to significantly reduce their release into air, by accelerating mitigation measures needed to address banks of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). COPA aims a shift to sustainable refrigerant management by implementing a circular economy in the cooling sector.

Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

It is estimated that the refrigeration sector will account for around 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Alliance members take measures to implement actions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS). It aims to contribute to the target of mobilizing 100b USD/ annually for dedicated climate action.

Goal 17

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

With COPA, we build  an Alliance whose members come from different stakeholder groups from all around the world. The joint commitment and exchange of knowledge between civil society, public entities, and the private sector promote a global shift to sustainable refrigerant management. The alliance enables partner countries to receive financial support and to implement specific climate protection measures or pilot projects on site.


The work in COPA is contributing indirectly to the SDGs 9 and 11 as described below:

Goal 9

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

The COPA Alliance aims to encourage a sustainable management of climate-damaging refrigerants. By partner countries, receiving technical and financial support from Alliance members, a faster innovation in the sector can be enabled and the use of environmentally sound management of ODS and HFC gases integrated in industrial processes increase. This results in the increase of a global, sustainable refrigerant and gas bank management.

Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable


Due to a growing world population, urbanisation, increasing prosperity and the global temperature rise, the demand of air conditioning systems and refrigerants in cities grows. At the same time, the number of old appliances that are not disposed properly is increasing. The Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) of the Montreal Protocol estimates the global stock's greenhouse gas potential at 16-18 GT CO2eq. COPA helps develop long-term climate action in this sector - an important and complementary step in building sustainable cities.



COPA´s work is in alignment with the key elements of the Paris Agreement on climate change


The Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 Parties at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) in December 2015 and entered into force the following year. It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change with the goal to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century. To enable developing countries to counteract climate change, strengthen resilience and improve the ability to adapt to climate change impacts, financing mechanisms are to be provided.


Under the Paris Agreement, each country must submit national climate action plans through the so-called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCC secretariat. The NDCs are submitted, assessed, and revised in a 5- year cycle with start in year 2020. They should reflect increasingly ambitious climate actions to reduce national emissions and adapt to the global temperature rise and other impacts of climate change.


The work in COPA can benefit countries’ NDCs in different ways, but specifically:


1. The NDCs require accurate and reliable data about the current levels of GHG emission in a country, to establish the baseline for the mitigation ambitions. Here COPA may support countries with methodologies and estimations on current levels of emissions in the RAC sector.

2. COPA work can facilitate countries’ NDC revisions and ambition increase through specifications of the mitigation’s potential stored in ODS and HFC banks.

3. Additionally, COPA may contribute to countries’ NDC target formulations and division in conditional and unconditional targets with cost estimates for the emission reduction potential within ODS and HFCs bank management.


Source: The Paris Agreement | United Nations