Statement given by Didier Coulomb, Director General of the IIR, during MOP 31

Statement Given by the Director General of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) during the 31st Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP-31) in Rome (November 4-8, 2019).

Dear Delegates,


Recently - this year at the G7 and UN meetings - the refrigeration sector which includes air conditioning, cryogenics and heat pumps, was brought to the spotlight almost for the first time. Using the words of Mr. Antonio Guterres:


“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.”


This is in line with the work of IIR and we warmly welcome the Rome declaration. Refrigeration is indeed essential for human life and will be increasingly used, particularly in developing countries, to ensure food safetyand health. This development must be sustainable, and it is up to everyone here to put in place these "National Action Plans for refrigeration”; we are dedicated to offer support.


The International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) has already initiated actions in partnership with UN agencies and programs, particularly UN Environment (UNEP), UNIDO and FAO, as well as with companies, for instance through the Global Food Cold Chain Council (GFCCC). Work is ongoing. It starts with better data collection in all countries and we are counting on you to help us, so we can have the means to develop national and international strategies with you.


Let us recall some figures:

  • According to our estimates published this year, refrigeration in all its applications, represents nearly 20% of the electricity consumed in the world and this figure is constantly increasing.
  • Energy consumption accounts for almost two thirds of the impact of refrigeration on climate change,while direct emissions of fluorinated gases contribute to the rest. Improving energy efficiency, phasing-out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and reducing emissions and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) should be carried out simultaneously and as of now.


Refrigeration is necessary for life. Reducing food losses thanks to refrigeration can account for nearly one-third of the solution to the world's growing food needs. Public health must improve thanks to the benefits of refrigeration for vaccines and medicines, just like food, but also thanks to the advantages of properly controlled air conditioning. Refrigeration is at the heart of the sustainable development of your country.


The IIR is at your disposal to help you to achieving the sustainability goals in the field of cooling processes.

Thank you.