New guidance paper for policymakers

Three pictures: Air conditioners at a house wall, five people on a panel, one man with a microphone

Cover of the guidance; Photo: GIZ

By aligning mitigation efforts on phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and enhancing energy efficiency, the refrigeration, air conditioning and foam blowing (RAC&F) sector can make a significant contribution to countries’ NDCs. The new guidance paper “Advancing nationally determined contributions (NDCs) through climate-friendly refrigeration and air-conditioning” was developed to assist policymakers in their work. It is a product of the project “Cool Contributions fighting Climate Change”, which is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The guiding paper follows recent developments in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Montreal Protocol (MP). It helps policymakers in designing greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation strategies for their RAC&F sector in order to contribute towards meeting the increasing ambition levels expected as they revise their NDCs. Specifically, this guide is useful for:

  • Political decision makers who act as focal points to the UNFCCC and who administer the overarching national policy framework for climate change mitigation, in particular the national GHG emissions accounting and the NDC planning and implementation.
  • National Ozone Officers who coordinate the HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) and are now confronted with the further development of HFC phase-down schedules and related regulations as part of the Kigali Amendment.
  • Ministries or departments which are responsible for policies and regulations relating to the energy performance of RAC appliances in the national market, as well as finance related policies and regulations addressing the RAC&F sector, including NAMAs.

With a growing population, an increasing middle class, changing lifestyles and rising ambient temperatures, the global demand for RAC&F products has grown rapidly in the last decades and will grow even more in the ones ahead. This development causes a rapid growth of CO2 emissions from electricity consumption and HFC emissions from released refrigerants which could both contribute up to 13 per cent of global GHG emissions by 2030 (Green Cooling Initiative, 2014).

At the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MP) in October 2016 in Kigali, parties agreed to phase down HFC emissions until 2050 and to amend the MP accordingly. A successful implementation could prevent nearly 90 per cent of the 0.5°C temperature increase that HFCs could have caused, said Dr Guus Velders, from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Utrecht. It could thereby build a fundamental pillar to achieve the ultimate goal set out in the Paris Agreement.

The guidance paper is available for download here.