This way to a cool world – 20 years of integrating ozone and climate protection

As global temperatures rise and the world’s population grows, we ask: can we stay cool?

For more than 20 years now, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German government, has been setting examples on how to cool the world in a sustainable manner.

On behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GIZ hosted the symposium “20 years of German bilateral engagement in the multilateral process of the Montreal Protocol“ on September 28th 2015 in the GIZ headquarters in Eschborn, Germany. Signed in 1987, the Montreal Protocol regulates the phase out of ozone depleting substances (ODS) worldwide. Today it is seen as one of the most successful multilateral environmental Agreements.

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    Panel of experts © GIZ/Sonja Schwarz
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    Dr. Andreas Proksch, Head of Sector and Global Programmes Department © GIZ/Sonja Schwarz
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    Audience and panel of experts at the event © GIZ/Sonja Schwarz
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    Visitor studying Proklima fact sheets and brochures © GIZ/Sonja Schwarz

On behalf of the BMZ (since 1995) and the BMUB (since 2008), GIZ implements the Proklima project cluster to support developing countries and emerging economies in phasing out ODS in a sustainable and climate-friendly manner. Proklima promotes cooling and insulation technologies that enhance energy efficiency and use natural refrigerants or foam-blowing agents, minimizing negative impacts on the ozone layer and the climate. Since it was started, Proklima has implemented a total of 283 projects in more than 40 different partner countries with a volume of around 110 million Euros. More than 100 million tons of CO2 equivalent have been avoided through these efforts. That is roughly equivalent to the emissions caused by cars in Germany in one year.

Ms. Ulrike Haupt (head of the division for environment, sustainable use of natural resources, marine conservation and biodiversity at BMZ) was the first to welcome about 100 participants from over 20 different countries in the symposium. The audience agreed as she pointed out that by avoiding the use of the climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and promoting natural substances in replacing ODS, Proklima holds true to its name: “pro climate”. Dr. Christian Meineke (head of division for fundamental aspects of chemical safety and chemicals legislation at BMUB) and Mr. Andreas Proksch (head of division for sector and global programmes in GIZ) joined in to welcome the guests and all three agree: Montreal Protocol’s legacy now lies in extending its success to contribute towards sustainable development and to the fight against climate change.

Cooling and insulation have become essential in many various fields such as food security, healthcare, transport, industrial processes, and building construction to name a few. Another testament to the growing role of cooling is the amount of impact it has on the environment. HFCs have become one of the fastest growing GHGs and by 2050, the cooling sector could be responsible for up to 7-19 percent of the global GHG emissions.1,2 Attending policymakers, industry representatives, NGOs, academic institutions and representatives from partner countries talked about some of the barriers they face in promoting sustainable and climate-friendly alternatives. A prominent issue is the lack of a systematic control for HFCs. Many agree that regulating HFCs under the Montreal Protocol would be a crucial step in curbing the growth of HFC emissions.

As the event concluded, it was clear that while the Montreal Protocol has achieved great success, the ever-growing demand for cooling technology also requires greater efforts in making long-term and climate-friendly solutions the norm. Towards this goal, Proklima aims to continue working with its partner countries, promoting energy-efficient technologies with natural substances.


1 Velders, G. J., Fahey, D. W., Daniel, J. S., McFarland, M., & Andersen, S. O. (2009). The large contribution of projected HFC emissions to future climate forcing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 106 (27), 10949-10954.

2 Velders, Guus JM, Susan Solomon, and John S. Daniel. "Growth of climate change commitments from HFC banks and emissions." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 14.9 (2014): 4563-4572.


Marion Geiss

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