United Nations Conferences

Two important United Nations Conferences recently took place in Port Ghalib, Egypt, in November 2009, on the Montreal Protocol, and in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December 2009, on climate change and the Kyoto Protocol. The IIR attended them and presented statements (consult them: www.iifiir.org/en/notes.php?rub=2). During the conference in Port Ghalib, the HFC issue was on the top of the agenda. The North American proposal of phasing down HFCs was not adopted, because of the opposition of emerging countries. However, it was decided to give more technical information on low-GWP refrigerants and their possible applications in developing countries (hot climates…), to give more incentives for low-GWP refrigerants for developing countries (Multilateral Fund) and to encourage countries to revise their laws on security and safety. The United Nations were asked to discuss the HFC issue during the conference in Copenhagen (HFCs are covered by the Kyoto Protocol, even if they generally replace CFCs and HCFCs which are covered by the Montreal Protocol). The conference on climate change was not a success. There was no practical result, no agreement, only declarations and commitments of countries. Some technical issues, such as the HFC issue, were discussed, but no conclusion was possible because of overall disagreements on the possibility of binding agreements, on amounts of emissions for developed and emerging countries, on funding for developing countries and on systems of governance. More discussions and negotiations will be organized in 2010. The next conference will be in Mexico in December 2010. Regarding fluorinated refrigerants, new discussions and negotiations will be held before and during the next Conference on the Montreal Protocol which would be held in Nairobi, Kenya, or in Uganda in October 2010, based on the new information requested.