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OzonetoClimate Industry Roundtable Discusses Climate Friendly Alternatives to HCFCs

UNEP13 April 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction Programme and the China Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry Association (CRAA) convened the OzonetoClimate Industry Roundtable, which focused on chemical and technology options to replace the ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) that are to be phased out under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol) from 1 January 2013.

The Roundtable took place in Beijing, China, on 11 April, on the sidelines of the the 23rd International Exhibition for Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Heating and Ventilation, Frozen Food Processing, Packaging and Storage (CRH 2012). The event was attended by industry experts and government representatives from China, Japan and the US.

According to the staggered phase-out schedule under the Protocol, developing countries are required to achieve their first HCFC freeze target by 1 January 2013, and reduce consumption of HCFCs by 10% by 1 January 2015. HCFCs are used in the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry, where opportunities exist to introduce ozone- and climate-friendly, energy-efficient technologies. According to UNEP, the Asia Pacific region is the largest producer and consumer of HCFCs accounting for 85% and 74% of global HCFC production and consumption respectively in 2010.

China's HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) aims to eliminate 3,320 tons of HCFC consumption by 2015, 17% of the country's total HCFC use. The work is supported by a US$265 million grant, approved in July 2011 by the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. UNEP is also assisting China, through the Compliance Assistance Programme of its OzonAction Branch. [UNEP Press Release]