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The global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol will make a crucial contribution to slowing climate change and meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. An even faster phasedown could be achieved with a more extensive replacement of high-GWP HFCs with commercially available low-GWP alternatives in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. Climate emissions also can be reduced by collecting HFCs at the end of the useful life of cooling equipment and either recycling or destroying them. Such strategies could avoid up to 0.5°C of warming by 2100. 

This report is a comprehensive assessment of the climate and development benefits of efficient and climate-friendly cooling.

Environmental dumping is a practice historically associated with the export of hazardous product waste from a developed country for irresponsible and often illegal disposal in a developing country. Now, with the industrialization and globalization of China and other developing countries, environmental dumping can involve both developing and developed countries as origin and destination. This dumping can be especially harmful to attempts to control under the Montreal Protocol ozone-depleting and climate-forcing chemical substances and/or products requiring unnecessarily high energy consumption. While developing country Parties to the Montreal Protocol are allowed to delay their phasedown of climate-forcing and ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) during a multi-year grace period, there are advantages to earlier implementation when superior alternatives are already available at reasonable costs, as is the case for many uses of HFCs today. Thus, developing countries can benefit under the Protocol from setting controls for environmental dumping. This article aims to give policymakers, especially those in developing countries, a legal and policy “toolkit” that can be used to stop unwanted environmental dumping. It includes an examination of the history of environmental dumping, illustration of such dumping in practice, a detailed explanation and examination of the legal and policy tools, and a summary of the consequences of environmental dumping.

Issue of Our Planet, the magazine of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Issue of Our Planet, the magazine of the United Nations Environment Programme.