The future of HFCs was at the heart of discussions in Geneva
Several issues of importance for the refrigeration sector were handled during the 30th meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in Geneva, on June 15-18, 2010 where the IIR, as an intergovernmental organization, was represented by Jean-Luc Dupont. - The 2010 progress report of the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) on available and emerging alternatives and substitutes to HCFCs was presented. The TEAP proposed a classification of alternative refrigerants according to their GWP: high: >1000, moderate: 300-1000 and low: < 300, with several subdivisions. Many representatives suggested to simplify this classification and to reduce the limit value for low-GWP refrigerants. The TEAP concluded that each refrigeration sub-sector "had a variety of low or moderate GWP alternatives available or under development" and that parties should "select alternatives with the lowest climate impact." A report on HCFC alternatives for high ambient temperature regions was also presented. - Two proposals of amendments to the Montreal Protocol were discussed. The first proposal from US, Canada and Mexico includes a gradual phase-down of 20 HFCs + 2 HFOs (R-1234yf and R-1234ze) with a plateau. For developed countries, it starts in 2014 (consumption limited to 90% of the HCFC and HFC consumption and production, averaged over 2004 to 2006) and ends in 2033 (consumption limited to15% of the same baseline, corresponding to the plateau). For developing countries, it starts in 2017 (consumption limited to 85% of the baseline) until 2043 (15% of the baseline). The second proposal, from Micronesia, is similar but with a different schedule (2013-2030 for developed countries and 2019-2036 for developing countries) and a lower plateau (10%). The climate benefits expected in terms of CO2 emissions avoided are 88 000 MMTCO2eq through 2050 for the trilateral proposal and 93 000 MMTCO2eq for the Micronesian proposal. The numerous opponents of these proposals emphasized the need to assess the financial implications of these amendments, the need to focus efforts on the accelerated HCFC phase-out and stressed that HFCs are the mandate of the Kyoto Protocol. No decisions were made, but an open-ended informal group on HFCs was set up. Further discussions will take place during the 22nd Meeting of the Parties (MOP-22) to the Montreal Protocol to be held in Kampala, Uganda, in November 2010. Consult the Geneva meeting documents here: www.unep.ch/ozone/Meeting_Documents/oewg/30oewg/conf-presession-en.shtml The IIR will naturally participate in MOP-22, present its actions and statements and will keep you informed on this key issue. Furthermore, the IIR will continue to develop and promote its numerous actions on refrigerants: French and Spanish versions of the IIR guide to ammonia, a new guide on CO2; conferences on natural refrigerants, on thermophysical properties of refrigerants, on phase-change materials and slurries, on ammonia…; working parties on mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, on refrigerant charge reduction, on refrigerant system safety… (become a member of the IIR and you will be able to join them). Consult our Web site for full information: www.iifiir.org.