Refrigeration now at the heart of international discussions

The recent G7 meeting in France and the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 in the US illustrate the growing importance of the refrigeration sector in international discussions.

Several countries attending the G7 meeting in Biarritz, France from August 24-26, 2019, pledged “to undertake immediate actions to improve efficiency in the cooling sector while phasing down HFC refrigerants as per the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol”.[1]

These measures include “developing national cooling plans based on domestic circumstances, using energy performance standards (MEPS) and labelling, and promoting use of good servicing practices”.

With the Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling, countries – which have not been made public yet – agree “to facilitate market access for highly efficient and affordable cooling technologies using low- or zero-global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerants”. They also agree “to call on support from relevant financial institutions and funds to mobilize additional financing for improvements in energy efficiency in the cooling sector for activities beyond those covered under the Montreal Protocol and its Kigali Amendment. [1]

In a statement to mark International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on September 16, 2019, which commemorates the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987, UN secretary-general António Guterres called upon action to develop national plans to address the need for cooling around the world. “Implementation of the Kigali Amendment will be front and centre for climate action. We need all countries to develop national cooling action plans to deliver efficient and sustainable cooling and bring essential life-preserving services like vaccines and safe food to all people. We are calling for concrete and enhanced actions from industry. The leadership of global leading companies is essential to realize the vision into reality.” [2]

Refrigeration was also discussed at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, which took place in New York City on September 23, 2019.

As reported in a UN press release [3], the Cool Coalition – a global network connecting over 80 partners from government, the private sector, cities, international organizations (including the IIR), finance, academia and civil society – announced actions to achieve a rapid global transition to efficient and climate-friendly cooling:

  • Twenty-six countries, such as Bangladesh and Lebanon, committed to adopt comprehensive national cooling plans and five countries – the Dominican Republic, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Senegal and Spain – committed to integrate cooling in their greenhouse gas emission reductions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Additional countries making cooling-related pledges were Andorra, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Djibouti, Hungary, Japan, Lebanon, Norway and UK.
  • The World Bank Group and the Green Climate Fund will integrate clean and efficient cooling across their lending/investment portfolios. In addition, the Children’s Investment Future Fund (CIFF) has pledged a fund of USD 20 million.
  • The C40 Cities, including Copenhagen, Medellin and Barcelona, will work with their network of more than 94 member cities to share expertise and integrate urban cooling into their climate action plans to reduce energy consumption while improving air quality. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group represents one twelfth of the world’s population and one quarter of the global economy. [4]