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Policy

Energy efficiency The topic of integrating energy efficiency into the requirements of the Kigali Amendment is relatively new to the MOP agenda. According to experts at the meeting, improving energy efficiency while phasing down HFCs could at least double the climate change mitigation benefits of the HFC phase-down. Countries requested the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP), an advisory body to the Montreal Protocol Parties, to assess technology options, requirements and related costs to maintain or enhance energy efficiency while phasing down HFCs under the Kigali Amendment. TEAP will make its recommendations in a report to be presented to the next Meeting of the Parties, to be held in approximately one year’s time in Ecuador (date TBC).

Replenishing the Multilateral Fund One key decision was to determine how much money would be allocated to support developing countries in achieving the HCFC phase-out and the HFC phase-down required under the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol – i.e. the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund (MLF). Delegates’ most pressing task was to successfully conclude the MLF replenishment negotiations for the triennium 2018-2020. The MLF replenishment is crucial for developing (Article 5) countries, as the fund finances activities to help meet their compliance obligations to phase out ozone-depleting substances. After long negotiations, the Parties adopted a budget for the MLF for the triennium 2018-2020 of US$ 540,000,000 (€455,984,640).

Uncertain future for synthetic refrigerants Norway and Switzerland reintroduced a draft decision to adopt a precautionary approach to the development and promotion of HFCs not listed as controlled substances by the Kigali HFC phase-down scheme, namely those with a GWP greater than 53.

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In a final decision, the Parties requested the Protocol Assessment Panels to provide a report evaluating the consumption and production of these substances in time for the MOP in 2023. Renewed assessments will be required every four years thereafter, but will only serve for information purposes. Meanwhile, questions have been raised about HFOs’ impact on the environment, particularly their decomposition in the atmosphere into trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), a long-lasting substance that descends to the earth as a form of 'acid rain' and accumulates in freshwater bodies. TFA's long-term toxicity is the subject of scientific study. One 2014 study in Chemosphere – 'A 17-fold increase of trifluoroacetic acid in landscape waters of Beijing, China during the last decade' – recommended that “measures are needed to control the increase of TFA in China”. "The Ozone Research Managers’ conclusion that the formation of toxic TFA, as well as tropospheric ozone, results from the degradation of HFOs is a concern which requires further research and evaluation,” said Philip Owen from the European Commission, the EU's executive arm.

Smarter standards to achieve Kigali HFC phase-down The need to update safety standards impeding the uptake of flammable refrigerants such as hydrocarbons was addressed by a number of countries throughout the week. The Parties requested the Ozone Secretariat to hold regular consultations with relevant standardisation organisations, with a view to providing an overview of the relevant safety standards governing flammable low-GWP refrigerants. The overview will include information on the scope of standards (i.e. activities, appliances or products covered), content (i.e. safety-relevant technical aspects addressed) and information on the review process. MB

Accelerate Europe #9 Winter 2017  

HONOURING THE TRAILBLAZERS The past twelve months have been full of innovation in the HVAC&R sector. The winter 2017 edition of Accelerate...

Accelerate Europe #9 Winter 2017  

HONOURING THE TRAILBLAZERS The past twelve months have been full of innovation in the HVAC&R sector. The winter 2017 edition of Accelerate...