Editorial by Didier Coulomb

In the previous issue of the Newsletter, a special issue on the environment, I announced proposals, from the G8 in particular, concerning accelerated phase-out of HCFCs, along with the importance of the UN Conference on the ozone layer in this context. This conference took place in Montreal, Canada, on September 17-21. I attended it, gave a speech and distributed documents on behalf of the IIR. Beyond the information you will find hereafter, I'd like to emphasize several essential points: - discussions in Montreal focused on HCFCs to a greater extent than on other ozone-depleting substances, this being because HCFCs also exert global-warming effects; - for the first time, the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector was at the heart of an international event dealing with the environment, fortunately in a constructive atmosphere; - the final decision calls for an accelerated HCFC phase-out period with respect to the period initially defined within the framework in the Montreal Protocol: HCFCs will be phased out 10 years sooner than originally scheduled. From now on, we will need to avoid installing equipment using HCFCs and we will have to come up with alternatives to HCFCs as soon as possible; - in developing countries, more work is scheduled in order to find economically and environmentally sustainable solutions. We must be involved, and the launching of the IIR Working Party on the Cold Chain in Warm (developing) Countries will help us raise our involvement; - the need to ensure coordinated actions with respect to ozone depletion and climate change was underscored. This means that replacement technology leading to the lowest emissions of greenhouse gases should be promoted. In particular, systems using refrigerants with low global warming potentials (GWPs) should be promoted. During future conferences, this point will certainly be emphasized. Moreover, the energy consumption of equipment also has to be reduced. The IIR is already active in these fields. Let's continue our efforts! Didier Coulomb, Director of the IIR