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Heating and cooling demand for space conditioning and refrigeration accounts for around a fifth of global final energy consumption. Climate change, urbanization, and economic development have tripled electricity demand for cooling alone since the 1990s, with the majority coming from the use of inefficient cooling equipment, which burdens electricity grids, especially during peak hours. It is imperative to address the energy required to provide cooling. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol addresses these needs by setting ambitious global targets to phase down refrigerants with high global warming potential while improving energy efficiency. Integrating energy efficiency and the refrigerant transition will contribute to economic security, well-being, energy access and security, and sustainability among the G20 countries.

Environmentally harmful product dumping (“environmental dumping”) of new and used low-efficiency cooling appliances with obsolete ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas refrigerants in African countries impoverishes communities, hinders economic development, threatens ecological systems, and harms public health. The use of lowefficiency cooling appliances increases energy demand, leading to higher power plant emissions and limiting affordable energy access in African countries. These low-efficiency appliances and products contain ozone-depleting refrigerants with high global-warming potential (GWP) or ozone-safe refrigerants with high GWP. Environmental dumping of these appliances and products makes it more difficult for countries to meet their international climate obligations and for the world to meet the Paris Agreement’s climate change mitigation targets. Ghana faces high levels of environmental dumping, despite a national ban on importing used cooling appliances and established efficiency standards for new air conditioners and refrigerators. Through the Energy Commission’s Office of Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, & Climate Change (REEECC), the government of Ghana is partnering with the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) to stop environmental dumping. This article provides a list of interventions that can be implemented by Ghana, by governments in countries that export to Ghana, and by industry and other stakeholders. Notably, these actions focus on the shared responsibility of exporting countries and manufacturers by calling on exporting countries to update and enhance enforcement of their laws, and on global manufacturers to stop exporting inefficient products with obsolete refrigerants to Ghana and other African countries.

Demand for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances is growing in India and is estimated to continue growing at a high rate through the middle of this century. HFCs, although not directly ozone-depleting, are highly potent greenhouse gases subject to a global phasedown under the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. As of 20 January 2022, 130 Parties have ratified the Kigali Amendment, including India. This analysis evaluates scenarios for India’s HFC demand trajectory compared to likely control obligations under the Kigali Amendment. It is based on current and projected markets for HFC-using equipment and types of refrigerants utilized now and likely to be used in the future. Sectors considered in this work include mobile air conditioning, stationary air conditioning, refrigeration, and foam blowing agents. Results suggest that India’s annual HFC demand under current market trends could reach 76 MMT CO2-equivalent (CO2e) in 2030 and 197 MMT CO2e in 2050, from 23 MMT CO2e in 2020, making no changes to the current mix of HFCs in use. The Kigali Amendment requires for compliance that India freeze its HFC consumption in 2028 at a projected level of 59–65 MMT CO2e and phase down progressively over the following 29 years; in that case, annual Indian HFC demand would peak in 2030 at a projected 57 MMT CO2e and fall to 8 MMT CO2e by 2050. This trajectory would avoid cumulative HFC use of 2.2 GT CO2e through 2050 versus the current market trends. If actions are taken to accelerate the refrigerant transition in stationary air conditioning by five years, India could peak its annual HFC demand by 2028 at 40 MMT CO2e and avoid additional cumulative HFC demand of 337 MMT CO2e between 2025 and 2050, exceeding its obligations under the Kigali Amendment.

This paper describes how the Ghana Energy Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ozone Unit have joined forces in a comprehensive strategy to access and implement low-global warming potential (GWP) and energy-efficient cooling technologies that protect the Earth’s climate and stratospheric ozone layer. This strategy, in line with the objectives of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol): 1) integrates upgraded energy efficiency labels with refrigerant metrics; 2) strengthens minimum energy performance standards (MEPS); 3) prohibits the dumping of used cooling appliances; 4) uses the OzonAction informal Prior Informed Consent (iPIC) mechanism to facilitate communications among national authorities on the import and sale of appliances containing or using obsolete refrigerants scheduled for phase out or phase down under the Montreal Protocol; and 6) asks Parties to the Montreal Protocol to enact and enforce regulations that help stop the dumping of used and new cooling equipment in export-market countries wanting to leapfrog obsolete appliances that waste energy and force climate change.

This evaluation identifies the 12 papers that formed the scientific foundation for the Montreal Protocol parties to take bold steps to phase down HFCs via the Kigali Amendment. These thoroughly researched and clearly presented scientific papers, which were among those contributing to SAP presentations at Meetings of the Parties and were directly read and considered by treaty negotiators from party countries, made the link between HFCs and climate change apparent and persuaded skeptics and stakeholders to take action. All told, the coauthors of these dozen papers include about 40 scientists from 10 countries, reflecting the substantial degree of international attention to the problems posed by HFCs and scientific collaboration to address them.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) can be further strengthened to control ozone-depleting substances and hydrofluorocarbons used as feedstocks to provide additional protection of the stratospheric ozone layer and the climate system while also mitigating plastics pollution. The feedstock exemptions were premised on the assumption that feedstocks presented an insignificant threat to the environment; experience has shown that this is incorrect. Through its adjustment procedures, the Montreal Protocol can narrow the scope of feedstock exemptions to reduce inadvertent and unauthorized emissions while continuing to exempt production of feedstocks for time-limited, essential uses. This upstream approach can be an effective and efficient complement to other efforts to reduce plastic pollution. Existing mechanisms in the Montreal Protocol such as the Assessment Panels and national implementation strategies can guide the choice of environmentally superior substitutes for feedstock-derived plastics. This paper provides a framework for policy makers, industries, and civil society to consider how stronger actions under the Montreal Protocol can complement other chemical and environmental treaties.

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.