28th Meeting of Parties (MOP) to the Montreal Protocol: Agreement reached to phase down HFCs

Panel with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and audience during the 28th MOP ©GIZ

Kigali – The 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP), held in Rwanda from 10 to 14 October 2016, has set a milestone for climate change mitigation. The Kigali Amendment to the Protocol now mandates the long-term, phased elimination of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) for industrialised and developing countries.

Industrialised countries are to cut HFC use by 85% by the year 2036, while developing and newly industrialising countries are to achieve cuts of 80% and 85% respectively over the period from 2024 to 2047. The Kigali agreement thus expands the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which already established a commitment to phase out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in order to protect the ozone layer.

In addition to the historic decision, the Kigali meeting also involved various side events on addressing environmentally sound substitutes for the refrigeration sector. In this field, Proklima – implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH – showcased on several occasions its approach and projects, funded both by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as well as the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

During an event co-hosted with UNDP, GIZ Proklima presented a completed conversion project from HFCs to hydrocarbons in Swaziland. Supported by GIZ Proklima, Palfridge – as the first refrigeration manufacturer in sub-Saharan Africa – decided to convert its production lines to the use of natural refrigerants. Thanks to the conversion of the annual production of approximately 80,000 units to natural refrigerants, direct emissions of F-gases were cut by up to 19,700 tonnes CO2 equivalent per year.

On another occasion, GIZ Proklima presented a completed demonstration project for conversion in India. The project helped the Indian manufacturer Godrej & Boyce to convert its production to systems using environmentally sound hydrocarbon refrigerants and introduce energy-efficient technology, thereby establishing a best-practice model. Since its launch in 2012, Godrej & Boyce sold up to 250,000 AC units and thus achieved a market share of over 11% in the 5-star AC segment making them the third largest supplier in this segment across India.

Another GIZ side event presented ways to integrate an HFC phase-down in ongoing national mitigation actions. GIZ Proklima highlighted a range of specific tools and guidelines (e.g. to co-benefit evaluation, market & policy incentive analysis, inventory & projection tool) as well as trainings for policy makers and technicians that were developed, addressing the entire refrigeration, air-conditioning and foam (RAC&F) sector from the data collection to the implementation.

And finally, within the context of the ‚Green Cooling Initiative‘, a separate event presented the potential of propane (R290) refrigerant, a natural alternative for the refrigeration sector that does not contribute to global warming.


Nicole Müller