Green refrigerators protect the climate in Colombia

Project description

Title: Colombian NAMA for the Domestic Refrigeration Sector
Commissioned by: NAMA Facility: United Kingdom Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (KEFM), European Commission  and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU)
Country: Colombia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MinAmbiente), Ministry of Mines and Energy (MinEnergia) 
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

Training 9


Colombia plays a key role in global climate change mitigation and environmental protection. According to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Colombia intends to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 20 per cent and to this end defines measures in various areas. In this context, the Government has submitted an action plan which also includes specific measures to reduce GHGs from domestic refrigerators.
The majority of used refrigerators in Colombia are inefficient in terms of their energy use. Refrigerators account for around half of electricity costs, especially in poorer sections of the population. Fluorinated and chlorinated hydrocarbons (HFCs) are still also used to some extent as refrigerants in old equipment. As a result of leaks and improper disposal of older appliances, gases escape into the atmosphere damaging the climate and ozone layer. In 2015, private refrigerators emitted approximately 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This is comparable to the annual emissions of 10.3 million cars in Colombia.


Colombian producers manufacture climate-friendly and energy efficient refrigerators and are able to better introduce these to the market through an exchange programme. Old, inefficient refrigerators are also disposed of correctly. 


To sustainably redesign the Colombian refrigeration market, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is working together with the Ministry of Environment’s Ozone Protection Unit and other implementing partners in five fields of activity:

  • Advising the Government on policy framework conditions
  • Supporting the production and market introduction of climate-friendly and energy efficient refrigerators through technical advice and low-interest loans
  • Implementing an exchange programme
  • Advice and financial support for the proper disposal of old refrigerators
  • Capacity development and project evaluation

GIZ implements technical cooperation in collaboration with its partners and national and international experts. The Colombian development bank, BANCOLDEX, handles the financial cooperation.

The project advises the Colombian Government on political measures, which improve the sustainability of the industry in the long term. For example, this includes introducing mandatory efficiency standards for refrigerators and a ban on climate-damaging refrigerants (HFCs).

The project supports the three domestic refrigerator manufacturers in producing and launching climate-friendly and energy efficient refrigerators. Manufacturers receive loans on favourable terms and technical advice to adapt their production to the higher standards.

In addition, an exchange programme aims to replace old refrigerators with new, green ones. By the end of the project, 300,000 old appliances are to be replaced thanks to financial incentives. In order to dispose of old refrigerators properly, the responsible waste management companies receive technical advice and financial support.

Training sessions and measures are key elements of the project. These train service technicians on the safe handling of natural refrigerants. Waste management companies and environmental authorities are also receiving training on appropriate, environmentally friendly disposal. Furthermore, the project provides advice on preparing and mainstreaming a new system, which monitors and evaluates the project results and reduction of GHGs.

Training 36


  • 21 technicians have received training on safe maintenance and repair of refrigerators containing the natural refrigerant isobutane.
  • The organisation Red Verde, which manages the exchange programme, has had its ability to act strengthened by a local subsidy.
  • Proposals for modifications to technical energy efficiency standards for refrigerators in Colombia have been submitted. At the end of 2019, the regulation was published for a public consultation procedure.

Additional information