Editorial by Didier Coulomb

As with every active institution, and even more so for each body of a scientific and technical vocation, the International Institute of Refrigeration must be present and able to meet the imperatives and challenges arising in the short-, medium- and long-term. I would like to illustrate this using three topical examples: - in the short-term, Europe is in the process of defining new regulations which will have a clear and immediate impact on all refrigeration plants, both within Europe and outside, due to "contamination". The economic world is reacting. The "F-Gases" regulation project on fluorinated greenhouse gases is being discussed in the European Parliament and must be implemented within the next two to three years; various projects, in different countries and in the European Parliament, are being set-up, destined to shorten the deadline on the ban of the use of HCFCs defined by the Montreal Protocol; the European Commission has also just produced a Green Paper on energy efficiency, etc. The IIR follows and participates in the developments of these regulations and I ask for your full attention on this matter if you are a partner or play an active role in Refrigeration: they are the key to your future. - in the medium-term, the application of the Montreal and Kyoto protocols will certainly profoundly change the way in which we make use of the different refrigerants today. Whilst continuing optimization work on the energy efficiency of systems operating with hydrofluorocarbons, the IIR has committed itself over many years to the study of natural liquid refrigerants and is more and more active and present on this issue which is the "focus" of this Newsletter. - in the long-term, the IIR must take an active interest in new "safe" technologies, which have a low impact on the environment whilst being financially feasible. It must explore new paths, taking advantage of the full scientific potential of its member base. It was afterall, in this manner that the IIR's support for the creation of a working group on magnetic refrigeration came to pass, on which subject, the first-ever world conference recently took place in Montreux, Switzerland. Magnetic refrigeration is still little used, but with substantial progress over the past few years in research on materials, new techniques should emerge at a feasible cost. It is important that the organization of developments in this field commence as of today. Didier Coulomb Director of the IIR