The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Japan Refrigerants and Environment Conservation Organization (JERCO) have agreed to join forces in an effort to combat global warming through the introduction of climate-friendly technologies in the refrigerator and air-conditioning (RAC) sector.
Refrigerators and air-conditioners are becoming necessities rather than luxuries in countries with high ambient temperatures. It is estimated that the RAC sector will account for 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, making it a serious contributor to climate change.
“Technological advancements and innovations are indispensable in order to increase energy efficiency in the RAC sector while reducing the use of global warming substances. The training of technicians is also necessary in order to adapt to fast-changing technical specifications,” said Masato Sakui, JRECO’s Managing Director. “JRECO liaises closely with relevant national stakeholders and governmental regulators to facilitate the transfer of technologies that allow for the sound management and safe use of fluorinated compounds.”
Over the last 30 years, refrigerants used in heating and cooling systems have been replaced under the Montreal Protocol to phase-out the use of ozone-depleting substances, however, the substances frequently used as alternatives – hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – are powerful greenhouse gases with significant global warming potential. The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which will enter into force in January 2019, will cut the production and consumption of HFCs by 80% over the next 30 years. The phase-down schedule is expected to avoid more than 80 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2050.
UNIDO and JRECO have agreed, under the witness of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, to identify technical cooperation project opportunities to be implemented with funds from the Government of Japan. This agreement fall under a support scheme to enhance bilateral cooperation between UNIDO and Japan under the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
“Japanese industries in the RAC sector have valuable expertise for accelerating the replacement of harmful refrigerants with low global warming potential alternatives,” said Ole Nielsen, Chief of UNIDO’s Montreal Protocol Division. “JRECO can play a catalytic role in promoting the transfer of the technologies from Japan to the countries working with UNIDO so they can manufacture more energy efficient and safer RAC equipment using alternative refrigerants.”
UNIDO supports countries around the world comply with their obligations through the promotion of energy efficiency, and of low-carbon and low-emission technologies and practices.