Editorial by Didier Coulomb

2008 was a milestone year for the IIR: its centenary, celebrated in many countries, provided an opportunity to showcase not only the rich and fascinating history of refrigeration, but also the ever-increasing global challenges and a lively, constantly changing refrigeration community. 2009 should enable us to continue to build on the centenary and continue to convey messages. This will be all the more necessary in an economic context that has considerably worsened in a lasting manner. Companies in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector will undoubtedly bear the brunt of some of the repercussions. However, I firmly believe that the refrigeration sector will be less affected by the current slow-down than most other sectors. We will always need refrigeration, and additional investments will be required in the short term in our sector. Major energy-saving initiatives will have to be implemented, particularly within the framework of climate-change-related challenges, and also with a view to ensuring more rational, more economical development in the long term. Refrigerant replacement, including the scheduled phase-out of HCFCs, must take place at a faster pace. Replacement solutions must involve a greater degree of innovation and a higher level of investment, especially now that HFCs are undergoing reappraisal (see the Focus). Beyond new restrictions and of course difficulties encountered when adapting to new situations, this process will be a veritable source of numerous opportunities for unprecedented economic development. I hope you will all manage to emerge from this difficult period strengthened and that you will seize the opportunity to implement sustainable development: this development will demonstrate its true value during periods such as that which we are currently encountering. Happy New Year! Didier Coulomb, Directorof the IIF