The Montreal Protocol has halted 99% of global production of chemical substances that deplete stratospheric ozone, which protects life on earth from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UVB) radiation. UVB causes skin cancer and cataracts, suppresses the human immune system, destroys plastics, and damages agricultural crops and natural ecosystems. Because ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) are powerful greenhouse gases, the Montreal Protocol also protects climate. From the authors’ perspectives in multiple roles as environmental entrepreneurs, practitioners, and authorities, this paper explains how individuals, companies, and military organizations researched, developed, commercialized and implemented alternatives to ODSs that are also safer for climate. With the benefit of hindsight, the authors reflect on what was neglected or done badly under the Montreal Protocol and present lessons learned on how Montreal Protocol institutions can be renewed and revitalized to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
The comprehensive carbon metric accounts for the fact that AC electricity use and the integrated carbon intensity of that electricity can be up to 48% higher than estimated using national “average” assumptions. Taking real-world operating conditions and the actual carbon intensity of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution at the end-use into consideration provides for a more accurate assessment of the significant climate and economic benefits from energy efficiency and power grid investment.
This article was published in ASHRAE Journal, November 2018. Copyright 2018 ASHRAE. Posted at www.ashrae.org.
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.
The following is a review of the continuing evolution of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, including the Kigali Amendment’s critical role in evolving the Montreal Protocol into a full-fledged climate treaty. Before the Kigali Amendment, the Montreal Protocol controlled about 100 ozone-depleting substances including chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, which are powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs), and thus the Montreal Protocol has always contributed significantly to the mitigation of climate change. The Kigali Amendment expanded the scope of the Montreal Protocol to encompass explicitly the phasedown of super GHGs, or those with very high global warming potential in the form of hydrofluorocarbons (or HFCs), although they have only a negligible impact on the ozone layer. We also discuss energy efficiency improvements to cooling equipment, which, because of the opportunity to simultaneously upgrade the energy efficiency of equipment, augments the climate change mitigation potential of the substance phasedowns and reduces related air pollutants by reducing indirect emissions from electricity generation. Phasing down HFCs has the potential to avoid up to 0.5ºC of warming by 2100. Improvements to the energy efficiency of cooling equipment could perhaps double this.
Urbanization, rising temperatures, and more frequent heat waves in India are driving cooling demand higher. Further, as living standards rise and electricity reaches more homes across India, sales of room air conditioners (ACs) are growing. The room AC stock has skyrocketed from 2 million units in 2006 to approximately 30 million units in 2017. Air conditioners are now viewed as a necessity for a healthy lifestyle, similar to the perception of refrigerator ownership in the 1990s. But, ACs also burden electric grids with greater peak power demand, leading to higher power plant fuel consumption and increasingly poor air quality. Increased AC use also exacerbates harmful climate change caused by emissions of carbon dioxide from power generation and the release of refrigerants such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent heat trapping gases used in air conditioners. For the room AC market to grow sustainably, “climate-friendly” room ACs – those that are both energy efficient and use climate- safe refrigerant gases – are needed.
Cooling is finally coming in from the cold. After many years on the side lines of the energy debate, the importance of cooling to modern ways of living for all, but also the damage it causes to the environment and our health, is being recognised. And so it should be sustainable, affordable artificial cooling with minimal global warming or environmental impact is nothing less than critical to societal, environmental and economic sustainability worldwide. This report explores new outcome and needs-driven, integrated, system- level approaches that re-imagine the way we use and deliver cooling. In so doing it seeks to understand the portfolio of cooling needs, the size and location of the multiple thermal, waste and ‘wrong-time’ energy resources available, and then identify the novel energy vectors, thermal stores and cooling technologies appropriate for the societal, climate and infrastructure context. In short, what we call the Cold Economy: transitioning from technology to system.
This report is the first to define and quantify the magnitude of the cooling access challenge, including an assessment of countries facing the biggest risks, measured by extreme heat, food losses, and damaged or destroyed vaccines and medicines. The report illustrates the social and economic risks of ignoring the challenge and the enormous economic and business opportunities of a concerted effort to provide sustainable cooling.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is shining a spotlight on some of the blind spots of energy policy – issues that get little attention but are of crucial importance. The growth in global demand for space cooling is such a blind spot: it is one of the most critical yet often overlooked energy issues of our time. If left unchecked, energy demand from air conditioners will more than triple by 2050, equal to China’s electricity demand today. This report highlights the threats associated with rising, unchecked cooling demand. It provides key insights into current and future trends in cooling, and it proposes policy responses to achieve a more sustainable pathway.
Energy Efficiency 2018, the sixth edition in the IEA Market Report Series, is the global tracker of trends and indicators in energy efficiency and an invaluable resource for energy efficiency policy makers and market actors. This year’s report provides a special feature in the form of a new World Energy Outlook Efficient World Scenario, which answers the question: What would happen if policy makers realised all the economically viable potential for energy efficiency that is available with existing technologies? The report also presents a detailed analysis of energy efficiency trends and drivers in the six major emerging economies of Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. Energy Efficiency 2018 presents the most comprehensive analysis of current and future energy efficiency trends ever produced by the International Energy Agency, and its insights offer direct pointers to policy makers as to what policy solutions are available to deliver the economic, environmental and social benefits of energy systems that are as efficient as possible.
This factsheet provides an overview of the growing Indian AC market, strategies to advance climate- friendly ACs, and market opportunities under the Montreal Protocol.