Ozone depletion and global warming

As an intergovernmental organization, the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) is invited to attend the annual conferences on the ozone layer (and the Montreal Protocol), on climate change (and the Kyoto Protocol), and to present a statement during the high level segment. The conferences were held in November 2006 in New Delhi, India, and in Nairobi, Kenya, respectively. Several conclusions can be drawn: -the ozone layer is now stabilized but will not recover before 2050; it was thus decided to organize a seminar on the future of the Montreal Protocol next September, before the official Conference of the Parties, to be held in Montreal, Canada. This will mark the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol: several issues will be discussed in order to reinforce the constraints of the Protocol: the phase-out of methyl bromide, the phase-out of HCFCs, links with the Kyoto Protocol; -HCFCs have replaced CFCs in most cases in developing countries, in which they have to be phased out before 2040. The time frame for developed countries is 2030. These two time frames will probably be brought forward; -ozone depletion and global warming are related. CFCs and HCFCs are greenhouse and ozone-depleting gases. They are not included in the Kyoto Protocol and a lack of coordination between the 2 protocols has illogical consequences such as subsidies to phase out HFC-23, which is a by-product of HCFC-22, contributing to the development of its production. The 2 protocols cannot remain independent in the future; -the main issue discussed in Nairobi was the future of the Kyoto Protocol, i.e. the commitments of countries to mitigate emissions after 2012. Nothing could be decided and it will probably be impossible to reach a decision before 2009, but mindsets are changing. No delegates of countries denied the reality of global warming and the need to do something to mitigate it; -the challenge for most countries and for the United Nations would now seem to focus on now to avoid an increase of more than 2°C in the global temperature before 2050, which requires a 50% decrease in CO2 emissions before 2050. Because it will be impossible to mitigate the emissions of the less developed and countries with growing populations, e.g. African countries, greater decreases in the emissions of developed countries will be needed and emerging countries, such as China, India, Brazil will need to commit themselves; -several European countries (France, Germany, the United Kingdom) proposed new commitments such as a 30% reduction in their CO2 emissions before 2030 and a 60-75% reduction before 2050, compared with the 1990 levels; -China explained its commitment to reduce its emissions per unit GDP energy consumption by 20% before 2010 compared with 2005. Even if this effort is insufficient given the rising Chinese GDP, it is the first sign from an emerging country, which could allow more negotiations in the future, involving countries which have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. We need to be prepared to implement new measures concerning refrigeration and air conditioning in the near future, in developed and developing countries: faster phase-out of HCFCs, the replacement of other refrigerants with high global warming potentials, a reduction in the energy consumption of all equipment and systems. See the statement presented by the Director on the Web site of the IIR.