New environmental measures are emerging

Two important (for the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector) United Nations conferences take place every year, on ozone depletion and on climate change. The IIR attends these conferences and presents a statement as an intergovernmental organization (see both 2008 statements on the IIR's Web site: - The first one, which was the 20th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, took place in Doha, Qatar, on November 16-20, 2008. The IIR ran a booth, presented its new guide on ammonia, Ammonia as a Refrigerant, and jointly presented with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) a special issue of Industria & Formazione on refrigeration and air conditioning during side-events. Moreover, it attended various side events, especially those dedicated to refrigerants, following the decision of the latest United Nations conference on ozone depletion to phase out HCFCs earlier. For the first time, discussions took place on HFCs. HFCs are governed by the Kyoto Protocol, not by the Montreal Protocol; however, many plants which formerly used HCFCs now use HFCs. The consumption of HFCs is skyrocketing. This replacement, without any other measures, will not improve the mitigation of global warming and this is a pity, given all the efforts made by the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector for both Protocols. Following a proposal of the United States, a workshop will discuss this issue and the IIR will participate. It will certainly have consequences on the use of HFCs: greater containment, phase-out for certain applications... - The second event was the 14th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which took place in Poznan, Poland, on December 1-12, 2008. Very few decisions were made (Adaptation Fund). However, the event paved the way to the next one, which will take place in Copenhagen on November 30-December 11, 2009. Both the United States, with a new federal administration, and the European Union, with decisions already made, will be able to make proposals for a new Protocol, probably involving developed and developing countries. Such a protocol will certainly have a major impact on our sector.