Sustainable and climate-friendly phase-out of ozone-depleting substances (SPODS)

Project description

Project title: Sustainable and climate-friendly phase-out of ozone-depleting substances (SPODS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU)
Countries: Latin America and the Caribbean; (Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Grenada, Venezuela, Paraguay)
Overall term: 2018 to 2020


The cooling sector is responsible for a significant share of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At the same time, the demand for cooling equipment such as air conditioners and refrigerators is growing, particularly in developing countries and emerging economies. The reasons for this are population growth, an increasing middle class, changing lifestyles and rising temperatures.
Most cooling units still use fluorinated gases (HFCs) as refrigerants. Since these can leak during operation, service and disposal, they cause considerable GHG emissions that have a high impact on the ozone and climate. This is approximately the same amount as the transport sector produces worldwide. More cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives, such as natural refrigerants, are one of the key approaches for improving the cooling sector’s carbon footprint.  

The production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances is regulated under the Montreal Pro-tocol. The environmental agreement was adopted in 1987 by the parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and solidifies this treaty. It entered into force on 1 January 1989 and signatories are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Montreal Protocol.


Selected Latin American and Caribbean countries fulfil their obligations under the Montreal Protocol through quick and effective measures to reduce refrigerants with a high global warming potential (GWP).


Policy advice, pilot projects with new, technical solutions, transfer of technology and knowledge and capacity building are valuable approaches to initiate sustainable cooling.
The project promotes the understanding of the partner countries of how the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector contributes to the national energy consumption and total GHG emissions. Alternative, climate-friendly solutions, including the use of improved technologies and exchange between the partner countries are being implemented.  
Specific activities include the development of action plans for the reduction of climate-related and ozone-depleting refrigerants. The programme also works with its partners to develop strategies for increasing the availability of natural refrigerants in Latin America and the Caribbean and dispose of obsolete cooling units in a sustainable manner. These activities are accompanied by technical training, particularly on the safe handling of natural refrigerants for the operation and maintenance of cooling units and refrigerators. In addition, the project offers training on the financing of sustainable projects in the cooling sector. Examples of pilot projects are also identified and supported prior to their implementation and transfer in other countries.
The project is supported via grants by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Additional information