International Ozone News

30 MAY 2011

In this Issue:

1- UNEP – Harvard University Recognizes Refrigerants, Naturally! with Prestigious Award

2- Subsidies for Super Greenhouse Gas Manufacture Must be Eliminated

3- Paradise Trashed: Collecting Copper Can be Costly to Environment

4- Record Seizure of an Ozone-Depleting Substance

5- Belize’s Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) Phase-out Management Plan (hpmp) Official Launching

6- UPDATED: High Grade Pure HC Plant Underway in Thailand

7- PIC Join Hands to Control Harmful Chemicals

8- Refrigerant Recovery Scheme to Continue

9- Seventh Annual Arctic Council – Nuuk, Greenland

10- L’Epee défend un retrait progressif et maîtrisé des HFC

Special Announcements

>> The thirty-first meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol will be held in Montreal, Canada, instead of Bangkok, Thailand. The dates of the meeting, 1–5 August 2011, remain unchanged.
Click here to read/download the Ozone Secretariat letter regarding change of venue of the 31OEWG

>> Corrigendum – Report of the 63rd Meeting of the Executive Committee
A corrigendum to the Report of the Sixty-third meeting of the Executive Committee (document UNEP/ OzL . Pro/ExCom/63/60/Corr.1) has been issued by The Secretariat of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The 63rd Meeting of the Executive Committee was held from 4 to 8 April 2011 in Montreal, Canada. Click here to access related documents. For further information Contact: secretariat@unmfs.org.

GLOBAL

1- UNEP – Harvard University Recognizes Refrigerants, Naturally! with Prestigious Award
Roy Family Award 2011 celebrates power of collaboration in tackling climate change
Nairobi – A public-private partnership conceived and supported by UNEP’s OzonAction team has received the prestigious Roy Family Award given by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Reviewers praised Refrigerants, Naturally!’ s impact on an important and often overlooked problem – persistent fluorinated gases (so called F-gases such as CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs) in the atmosphere – and held it up as a pragmatic and effective example of corporations and environmental organizations working together to reduce severe threats to the global environment.

Refrigerants, Naturally! brings together four high-profile private companies – The Coca-Cola Company, McDonald’s, Unilever, and PepsiCo – which are committed to combat climate change and ozone layer depletion by eliminating F-gases and substituting them with natural refrigerants (e.g. ammonia, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons). Greenpeace and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have been supporters of this partnership from the beginning, by providing advice, information and linkages to
their own activities.

F-gases are highly potent greenhouse gases that are used in most refrigeration and cooling technologies. Recent scientific studies indicate their increasing piece of the global warming pie – up to 9% – 19% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Refrigerants, Naturally! aims to skip over their deployment in developing countries as the next billion people get their refrigeration and cooling. This will prove to be a major wedge in preventing further global warming.

“The 2011 Roy Family Award from John F. Kennedy School of Harvard University shatters the myth that investing in the environment comes at the expense of economic growth”, said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “UNEP is proud to be associated with Refrigerants, Naturally! right from its inception to demonstrate how small investment through supply chain management can foster ozone and climate-friendly technologies and proactively enhance energy efficiency. I congratulate all partners for accepting the challenge of demonstrating this practical approach towards the Green Economy,” added Mr. Steiner.

“Refrigerants, Naturally! demonstrates that meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are possible if business and NGOs are creative and are prepared to work together”, said Henry Lee, director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, in announcing the 2011 award winner.

Since 2004, Refrigerants, Naturally! has focused its efforts on overcoming barriers to the use of natural refrigerants including worldwide availability, maintenance, technical challenges and regulation. The companies have come a long way. They actively promote a shift in point-of-sale cooling technology toward safe, reliable, energy-efficient and cost-effective natural refrigerants with low or zero global warming potential and zero ozone depleting potential.

The initiative also provides a platform and a critical mass in communicating with the refrigeration technology supply chain, with other large companies using similar refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, governments and civil society. Refrigerants, Naturally! is taking action to combat global warming and climate change by replacing F-gases in refrigeration equipment with climate-friendly natural refrigerants and is successfully promoting the technology amongst other companies around the world.

“Refrigerants, Naturally! has played an important role in raising the profile of this important issue and demonstrating what can be achieved through shared vision and commitment”, said Thomas Lingard, Global External Affairs Director Unilever and Chair of Refrigerants, Naturally! .

In 2010, Refrigerants, Naturally!’ has achieved one of its primary goals. The group’s leadership catalyzed the entire retailing and consumer goods sector to commit to change its cooling technologies starting in 2015. The Consumer Goods Forum, a CEO-led organization of 400 global consumer goods manufacturers and retailers with US$3 trillion of revenue, pledged to begin phasing out HFC refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with natural refrigerants (See:http://www.ciesnet.com/pfiles/press_release/Press_Release_2010/2010-11-29-ClimateProtection.pdf).

“Refrigerants, Naturally! strives to eliminate an entire class of dangerous greenhouses gases from a large industrial sector. As the group has now catalyzed a commitment to eliminate HFCs from the Consumer Goods Forum’s 400 companies, we have a real shot at the kind of fundamental transformation we need. For this reason, Greenpeace is honored to be working with these corporations on this issue”, said Amy Larkin, Director Greenpeace Solutions.

“Public-Private Partnerships such as Refrigerants, Naturally! are vital tools for implementing Agenda 21. UNEP is proud to continue helping inspire and guide this partnership of responsible private sector companies, which is contributing in a tangible way to achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goal of environmental sustainability”, said Rajendra Shende, head of UNEP`s Ozone Action branch.

SOURCE: UNEP Press Release, 18 May 2011, http://bit.ly/mzETE9

2- Subsidies for Super Greenhouse Gas Manufacture Must be Eliminated
Producers should pay for destruction of potent HFC-23 climate gas
LONDON: The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is calling for an end to the expensive United Nations (UN) program costing almost a billion euros a year to capture and destroy the super greenhouse gas HFC-23.

On the eve of an expected decision by the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) on HFC-23 methodology, EIA is calling for the methodology to be retired and current contracts for HFC-23 destruction not renewed.

HCFC-22 manufacturers would assume responsibility for destroying the HFC-23 waste gas generated during HCFC-22 production, including the minimal costs for capture and incineration.

Since 2005, Kyoto signatories have spent several billion euros to obtain about 260 million carbon credits (Certificates of Emission Reduction, or CERs) for offsets resulting from HFC-23 destruction projects, mostly in China and India.

However, because revenues from HFC-23 credits are so much greater than the cost of HFC-23 destruction, many manufacturers can earn more from selling HFC-23 credits than from producing HCFC-22. This has created a perverse incentive that encourages manufacturers to produce more HFC-23 than is necessary just so they can be paid to destroy it. It has also subsidized developing nations’ production of HCFC-22, itself a greenhouse gas and an ozone-depleting substance currently being phased out under
the Montreal Protocol.

“Rather than being converted to carbon credits, the minimal cost of destroying HFC-23 should be borne by producers,” said Mark Roberts, International Policy Advisor for EIA. “Just as HCFC-22 producers in developed nations bear the cost for HFC-23 destruction, so should China and India, especially as they have already been paid many times over what it will cost to destroy all HFC-23 for decades to come.”

Indian fluorocarbon companies have reported that HFC-23 credits comprise up to 88 per cent of their annual profits (allowing one company to open a nationwide chain of movie theaters). The Chinese government, which levies a 65 per cent tax on all HFC-23 credits, claims to be sitting on US$700 million from HFC-23 offsets, enough to capture and destroy all HFC-23 produced in China until 2050.

“By banning the use of HFC-23 credits after April 2013, the European Union has already demonstrated that these industrial gas offsets have no place in future international carbon markets”, said Clare Perry, EIA Senior Campaigner. “Destroying HFC-23 should be obligatory as part of responsible business practice by all HCFC-22 producers.”

To view or download EIA reports on CDM HFC-23 projects and emissions, visit: http://www.eia-international.org/campaigns/global_environment/reports/ .

1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is a UK-based Non Governmental Organisation and charitable trust (registered charity number 1040615) that investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes, including illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, hazardous waste, and trade in climate and ozone-altering chemicals.

Interviews and further comment are available on request. Please contact:
• Clare Perry, Senior Campaigner, on +34 664348821 or clareperry@eia-international.org
• Natasha Hurley, Campaigner, on +44 (0)20 7354 7960 or natashahurley@eia-international.org

SOURCE: Environmental Investigation Agency, Press Release, 24 May 2011, www.eia-international.org

NORTH AMERICA

3- Paradise Trashed: Collecting Copper Can be Costly to Environment

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – People will go to great lengths to try to get their hands on a few dollars worth of copper, but they could be costing themselves and the environment much more.

There’s a spot at the entrance of Kailua that has become a dumping ground for old TV’s. The guys that hang out at the park nearby there say at one point there was a pile of 50 television sets and it’s all just steps away from the main road. Dumpers will take off the small amount of copper from the back of TV’s and trash the rest.

People can place their TV’s curbside for the scheduled bulky waste pickup but it goes to the landfill. If consumers would rather recycle they can take it to stores like Best Buy which ships them off to California. People pay $10 for the service but they do get it back in a store gift card.

As for refrigerators many come to Refrigerant Recycling in Campbell Industrial Park. The company takes the old appliances you drop off with the city or back at stores like Sears. The workers safely collect the Freon then recycle and resell it.

“First and foremost the refrigerant is an ozone depleting substance so when it goes out into the air it destroys the ozone,” said Allen Evans, Refrigerant Recycling.

There is a small amount of copper worth about a dollar on the back of refrigerators, but if someone tried to scrap it themselves it could cost them more than $37,000 in fines for polluting the atmosphere.

“So if you see that guy driving up the street with a pickup truck cutting up those appliances on the side of the road, one it’s illegal and two you could actually turn him in and get a reward of up to $10,000,” said Evans.

Refrigerant Recycling will also properly drain the oil out of the fridge compressors. It’s a step that adds up to about eight drums of oil a month.

They also cut up air conditioners to recycle the copper. In all they’ll recycle between 400 to 500 appliances a day. It’s a good amount but it could be better if not for illegal dumpers.

“It’s pretty sad to see what people actually do to make a couple of bucks,” said Evans.

For more information about recycling televisions and ewaste, click here.
You can also find more about the rules about refrigerant recycling by clicking here.
To see Part 1 of our series Paradise Trashed, click here.
Part 2 of Paradise Trashed can be found by clicking here.

SOURCE: Hawaii News Now, 18 May 2011, By Tim Sakahara, http://bit.ly/k1wyRz

4- Record Seizure of an Ozone-Depleting Substance

On March 7, 2011, Environment Canada announced in a press release that it had made a record seizure of approximately 120,000 kg of an illegally imported substance worth over 1 million dollars.

The substance in question is a strictly regulated gas known as chlorodifluoromethane, also referred to as HCFC-22 or R-22, that is used in the refrigeration industry and that is known to deplete the ozone layer.

The company, Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc., and its president, Mr. Alexis Dionne, imported HCFC-22 between September 2008 and June 2009 in contravention of the Canadian Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations, 1998 and were charged with four counts of illegal importation.

On March 2, with the agreement of the Attorney General of Canada, they signed an Environmental Protection Alternative Measures Agreement (EPAM) as provided under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 under which they agreed to forfeit the 5,315 cylinders of HCFC-22 seized at a warehouse in Saint-Jérôme, Québec and to publish an article in a specialized magazine and on the company’s website. The agreement also imposed the immediate voluntary payment of $4,500 to the
Environmental Damages Fund.

Gestion Alexis Dionne Inc. and its president must respect the agreement’s conditions in their entirety during a 36-month period or their case will be brought before the court.

Mr. Dionne’s company, which specializes in Chinese importations and conducts business under the name of Votreimportation.com, was not involved in the use or commercialization of HCFC-22. Montréal newspaper La Presse contacted Mr. Dionne who described the importation as “transparent” since the Canadian Customs authorized it, inspected his container and even collected taxes.

But Environment Canada’s Robert Daigle, also contacted by the Montréal newspaper, noted that it is not the Canadian Customs’ mandate to apply the regulations on refrigeration gases. It is the importer’s responsibility to inquire about applicable regulations and not only on the customs aspect of the law.

This case stresses the growing financial and penal liability associated with environmental laws. As in many other business practices, when dealing with certain substances one must be aware of applicable federal and provincial environmental laws such as the 1998 Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations.

The Canadian Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations represent Canada’s commitment pursuant to the 1987 Montréal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. These regulations control the import, export, manufacturing, use, sale and offering for sale of certain substances such as HCFCs as well as any product that contains or is designated to contain those substances. As of September 2009, the Montréal Protocol had been signed by almost 200 countries and is on its way to accomplish its goal, which is to eliminate ozone-depleting substances. Environment Canada asserts that the production and consumption of these substances have been phased-out by 95% and that with the implementation of the Montréal Protocol’s provisions, the ozone layer should return to its pre-1980 levels by 2050 to 2075. As for the HCFC-22, the Canadian government aims at a complete elimination by 2030.

Until then, HCFC-22 is still used in products such as residential heat pumps although since January 1, 2010, all new refrigeration or air-conditioning appliances must use another gas. In any case, only certain distributors may import and distribute HCFC-22.

The Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations also regulate substances such as chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), halon, bromofluorocarbon, bromochlorodifluoromethane (HBFC), tetrachloromethane and 1,1,1 trichloroethane.

Every person who contravenes these regulations commits an offence under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and is liable to fines of up to 1 million dollars and imprisonment of up to 3 years.

SOURCE: Lexology, 1 May 2011, By: Miller Thomson LLP, Luc Gratton and Julien Morier, http://bit.ly/iLRlSD

LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN

5- Belize’s Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) Phase-out Management Plan (hpmp) Official Launching

12 – 05 – 11 – Belize, Belmopan, Radission Fort George Hotel and Marina – Belize Officially Launch the HCFC Phase-out management Plan to Further Contribute to the Global Effort for Both Ozone and Climate Protection.

While Belize has successfully phased-out the imports of Chlorofluorocarbons, the global community inclusive of Belize, is now faced with another problem that needs to be addressed to protect the ozone and climate and safeguard our environment. The use of Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons is on the rise in the Refrigeration and Air conditioning sector of Belize. Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons were developed as transitional replacements for Chlorofluorocarbons, and are now a target group of gases to be addressed
and phased-out.

In order to prepare for the phase-out of Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons, the National Ozone Unit has conducted an extensive nation-wide Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons survey in December 2009 through March 2010, an accompanying Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons Policy Workshop in April 2010, and a Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons Stakeholder Workshop in August 2010. This next initiative incorporate the strategy which will enable Belize to successfully attain the new phase-out targets called for by the amendments to the Montreal Protocol. Belize’s Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan was approved in
November of 2010 at the 62nd Meeting of the Executive Committee held in Montreal, Canada.

The Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan will be co-funded by the Government of Switzerland. The United Nations Environment Programme as the Lead Agency along with the United Nations Development Programme as the Cooperating Agency and Switzerland will be implementing the activities in the Hydro-chlorofluorocarbons Phase-out Management Plan.

In this regard, the National Ozone Unit, Department of the Environment hereby takes this opportunity to invite all interested Media Houses to the “Official Launching of the HPMP” to be held at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday 18th May, 2011, at the Radission Fort George Hotel and Marina on 2nd Marine Parade, Belize City.

Among distinguished guests and speakers the Deputy Prime Minister, Gasper Vega, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, Chief Environmental Officer and Ozone Programme Director, Representative from the United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office Latin America and Caribbean, Representative from the United Nations Development Programme, and a Representative from the Government of Switzerland.

For more information and interview request, please contact: Chief Environmental Officer/Ozone Programme Director, Department of the Environment, envirodept@btl.net

Tel: 822-2816; Fax: 822-2816, www.noubelize.gov.bz

SOUTH ASIA

6- UPDATED: High Grade Pure HC Plant Underway in Thailand

A production plant that will supply hydrocarbons for use as refrigerants, aerosol propellants and foam blowing agents is currently underway in Thailand. Having already received support from several governmental agencies, the project is now open to investors who seek active share in a project that will enable the establishment of hydrocarbon technology in Asia. UPDATE: The proposed hydrocarbon processing plant has received approval from Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI).

Responding to the rising need of using refrigerants that have no impact on the Ozone layer and at the same time minimal contribution to global warming, a project for the development of a high grade pure hydrocarbon production plant is underway in Thailand.

The project

Under the project, CEERD Co., Ltd. and EEEC Co., Ltd. will set up a hydrocarbon plant that will be operated by Asian Green Fluids Co., Ltd. Initially the plant will be able to deliver 6.000 metric tons per year (~18 metric tons per day) by processing liquefied petroleum gas.

”We are in a transitional period where dramatic choices have to be made for the sake of the planet’s future. Hydrocarbons, we believe, are one of these choices as it is our duty to respect and maintain what has been given to us by nature”, says Paul Lefèvre, EEEC Project Manager.

Concretely, the plant, expected to be located at the eastern seaboard of Thailand, will manufacture and supply Asian countries with the following environmentally friendly high-grade pure hydrocarbon products (99.5% in volume) used as refrigerants, aerosol propellants or foam blowing agents:

– Propane
– N-Butane
– Iso-Butane
– Pentane

Project Status

Government Agencies, suppliers and potential off takers have provided support to the project. For example, the project has received substantial support notably from Thailand’s Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Industry and also Thailand’s national oil company (PTT).

After lengthy planning, the Asian Green Fluids Company (AGF Co., Ltd), has finally received approval from Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) (www.boi.go.th) for the construction of the plant. Through the provision of support services, endorsement from the BOI will help to reduce the risks associated with the investment.

According to Dr Lefever, Director of the Centre for Energy Environment Resources development in Thailand, “The interest being shown by investors will ensure the project is constructed within the expected timeframe, with work expected to commence on the site in the upcoming months. With total estimated investment of nearly $35m US dollars, or over 1bn Baht, this is a significant project for the industry that recognises the need to move beyond current reliance on ozone depleting and powerful global warming
fluorocarbon refrigerant gases.”

The full-feasibility study and engineering design for the project have been finalized and the Management Team is working on securing the estimated investment needed of $22,000,000.

SOURCE: Hydrocarbon21, 10 May 2011, http://bit.ly/mNNbbu

PACIFIC ISLAND COUNTRIES

7- PIC Join Hands to Control Harmful Chemicals

TWENTY seven customs officers from Pacific Islands Countries came together to consider means to address environmental crime in the region due to the phasing out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) during a Green Customs Initiative workshop held at Outrigger on the Lagoon today.

These environmental crimes include the illegal trans-boundary movement like when a country transports hazardous chemicals from one region to another that involves the crossing of economic exclusive zones without prior consent from the respective country.

These crimes also include illegal smuggling of endangered/endemic flora and fauna under the Convention of International Trade of
Endangered Species (CITES). The remote location of Pacific Islands Countries (PIC) and numerous islands combined with limited capacity on enforcement agencies have imposed challenges for countries to commit to multilateral environmental agreements.

These agreements are international/regional conventions, treaties and polices to protect and manage our environment in a sustainable manner. In 2000, PIC agreed to apply a regional approach to implement national activities to phase out ozone depleting substances with the assistance of UNEP.

The PICs ‘HCFC Phase-out Management Plan preparation’ was approved by the 60th meeting of executive committee of Montreal Protocol.

A three-day PIC regional network meeting of ozone officers started today to discuss policies and measures on implementation of the plan as well as regional cooperation.

“The regional cooperation and capacity building for Pacific Islands Countries will definitely promote environment protection in the region,” Minister for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing & Environment, Colonel Samuela Saumatua said.

The Ozone Network Meeting back to back with the Greens Customs Meeting is held from May 23 to 25 followed by the first joint meeting of Customs and Ozone Officers May 26 and 27.

Participants will explore ways to enhance ozone depleting substance licensing systems as well as to enhance information exchange and enforcement cooperation between ozone agencies and customs authorities at national and regional level.

Capacity building manager/Interim Network and policy manager, United Nations Environment Programme Mr James Curlin stated that “customs officers play a critical role in regulating the trade in ozone depleting substance and the cooperation between customs authorities and the national ozone units are crucial for countries to meet their phase out targets”.

Experts from CITES, the Convention of Biodiversity, the Basel Convention Regional Centre, the World Customs Organization, Oceania Customs Organization, Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia & Pacific (RILO A/P) and (UNEP) will present skills and knowledge to customs officers on how to identify environmentally sensitive commodities and how to detect and investigate environmental crime cases and facilitating of legal trade.

The acting head of Secretariat of Oceanic Customs Organization Mr Nathaniel Tuiseke highlighted that customs were the frontline at borders to protect the environmental securities of countries and it was difficult for a single country to address transnational environmental crime.

He further added that customs administrations should improve their abilities to address environmental crime. This Thursday will see UNEP signing agreements with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Oceania Customs Organization (OCO) for policy and technical assistance for countries on ozone depleting substances trade control at the Outrigger on the Lagoon.

SOURCE: The Jet, May 23, 2011, by Shalendra, http://bit.ly/ili8fj

8- Refrigerant Recovery Scheme to Continue

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted authorisation for five years to allow Refrigerant Reclaim Australia (RRA) to continue to operate a scheme to recover, reclaim, store or safely dispose of refrigerant.

RRA is a not for profit organisation which operates the scheme for the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry to recover ozone depleting and synthetic greenhouse gases (commonly known as refrigerant).

The product stewardship scheme has been authorised by the ACCC since 1994 and is currently authorised, on an interim basis pending this determination coming into effect.

The scheme is currently funded by an industry levy of $2.00 per kilogram on refrigerant imported and sold in Australia. The ACCC authorises the RRA Board to reduce but not increase the levy during the period of authorisation.

The value of the levy was originally set at $1.00 when the program commenced in 1993. The expansion of the program to include the take-back of synthetic greenhouse gases and the passing and implementation of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Management Act, along with other initiatives, caused a strong rise in the amount of refrigerant being recovered and destroyed.

To remain sustainable additional funds were required and applications were made, and approved, resulting in the levy increasing to $1.50 in 2006, and $2.00 in 2008.

The ACCC also grants authorisation to RRA to expand the scope of the scheme to enable the RRA Board to set rebates paid to contractors and wholesalers to return refrigerant and to consider alternative disposal processes such as reclaiming the refrigerant to on-sell, and alternative destruction services.

However, the ACCC has decided to grant authorisation subject to conditions that require RRA to enhance the transparency of its scheme.

“The ACCC considers that the scheme delivers a net public benefit by facilitating greater compliance with environmental regulations resulting in a reduction in the volume of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

The RRA program has facilitated the recovery of approximately 3,500 tonnes of ozone depleting and synthetic greenhouse gas refrigerants since the program began in 1993. In achieving this RRA believes it has provided a significant public benefit as outlined in its submission to the ACCC.

“When the global warming potential of the ozone depleting refrigerants is included the total amount of carbon dioxide equivalent prevented from emission is greater than ten million tonnes since the program commenced. In the last five years of operations approximately,” said RRA.

RRA takes back between 30% and 50% of all unwanted recovered refrigerant and the program has been globally recognised through awards from the United Nations Environment programme and the US EPA.

The program also assists Australia meet obligations to control the consumption and production of ozone depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol. The program has so far prevented the emission of sufficient ozone depleting refrigerant to destroy more than eight million tonnes of stratospheric ozone.

Research, development and testing are progressing to provide refrigerants that do not deplete the ozone layer and that have low global warming potential, and RRA said these are expected to become available in 2015.

“There is a large volume of installed refrigerant in Australia that will remain and require recovery and destruction to prevent emission after low GWP refrigerants have been introduced. At present the installed bank of refrigerant exceeds 33,000 tonnes and continues to grow,” said RRA.

The organisation anticipates that the need to maintain recovery and safe disposal operations will remain until at least 2030.

The decommissioning and disposal of equipment, such as motor vehicles and air conditioning systems, provides the opportunity for recovering refrigerant. It is difficult to estimate the amount of refrigerant available from decommissioned equipment and it is the sector where the greatest potential for increased recovery exists. Australia does not have product stewardship schemes for end-of-life motor vehicles or consumer durables such as refrigerators and air conditioners.

RRA expects growth during the next five years to be in the order of 5% per annum in the absence of the development of end-of-life programs. Further increases in the price of refrigerants and the dwindling supply of HCFC22 (hydro chlorofluorocarbon) will lead to further increases in reuse.

However, in excess of 30,000 tonnes of ozone depleting and synthetic greenhouse gas refrigerant is installed in the Australian market place. As HCFCs and then high global warming potential HFCs (hydro fluorocarbons), are phased out of use the bulk of the installed bank will be recovered and returned for safe disposal. At the end of 2009/10 RRA had taken back more than 3,500 tonnes of refrigerant. By the time the program ends that figure will grow to more than 15,000 tonnes.

SOURCE: Inside Waste Weekly, 24 May 2011, http://bit.ly/kHQ58m

EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

9- Seventh Annual Arctic Council – Nuuk, Greenland

On May, 12, 2011, diplomats from eight Arctic countries met in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland to set down rules for opening the region to fishing, tourism, oil and mineral exploration as global warming melts the ice.

The representatives signed an Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement, which the US State Department said is the first binding international agreement among the eight states of the Arctic Council, which was founded in 1996. “We’re going to raise the visibility of Arctic issues,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, speaking to reporters on a boat tour in a fjord of Greenland’s tiny capital.

“The opportunities for economic development in the Arctic must be weighed against the need to protect its environment and ecosystems,” Clinton told her counterparts from the Arctic Council.

She warned pollutants such as black carbon, methane and hydro fluorocarbons, so-called short lived climate forcers, were a problem that needed more attention as they contribute to the faster-than-average rate of warming in the Arctic. “While most of the world’s black carbon is created elsewhere, there are things we can do in the Arctic to mitigate its warming effects,” Clinton said. “The United States has already committed $5 million toward an Arctic Black Carbon Initiative to address Arctic emissions,” she said.

Due to rising temperatures, summer ice around the Arctic may soon disappear, devastating the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and threatening polar bears and other polar mammals.

But it could also increase access for shipping, mining and oil and gas exploration and countries including Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia have already staked claims in the region. Last week, a new international study projected that an accelerated melt of Arctic ice would cause world sea levels to rise by three to five feet by 2100, more than previously projected. That sparked calls by Nordic nations for more action to slow climate change and more focus on the Arctic in sluggish UN negotiations on a global deal.

SOURCE: OzonAction Branch, 24 May 2011, http://bit.ly/jCcHeP

10- L’Epee défend un retrait progressif et maîtrisé des HFC

Dans le cadre de sa dernière assemblée générale annuelle à Bruxelles, l’Epee a fait le point notamment sur la révision de la F-Gaz et l’avancée des travaux en lien avec la directive ErP.

A cette occasion, Andrea Voigt, directrice générale de l’Epee a rappelé les prochaines échéances qui encadrent la révision de la F-Gaz. Prévue à l’origine le 4 juillet prochain, la présentation d’une étude réalisée par le consultant Öko-Recherche a été reportée à la fin du même mois. En septembre 2011, la Commission européenne devrait présenter ses propositions de révision de la F-Gaz. Dans la foulée et sur cette base, le début des consultations des différentes parties prenantes pourront commencer. C’est au cours du second semestre 2012 que devrait alors débuter la procédure de codécision.

Un “phase down” sous conditions

En marge du rapport Öko-Recherche, des experts ont aussi souhaité s’exprimer. Ils soulignent notamment la nécessité de mieux prendre en compte l’efficacité énergétique, les conditions de sécurité, le libre choix du fluide selon les applications… La Commission a réitéré son soutien pour une diminution progressive (“phase-down”) des HFC dont elle fait une priorité. Elle demande pour cela qu’un maximum de scenarios lui soit présenté par les experts. Elle souligne cependant que ses conclusions ne seront pas nécessairement celle du rapport Öko-Recherche et explique que des alternatives non soumises ne seront pas pour autant écartées… L’Epee de son côté recommande une approche globale qui tienne compte de la faisabilité et de la disponibilité d’alternatives appropriées dans le respect de l’efficacité énergétique.

Autre dossier prépondérant pour l’Epee, la directive ErP (ex EuP) sur l’éco-conception des produits et ses mesures d’application étaient au coeur des débats. Finalisées pour les équipements de climatisation d’une puissance inférieure à 12 kW (lot 10), les études commencent pour les autres. Des enseignements peuvent de ce fait être tirés. Il est notamment nécessaire de laisser la liberté aux fabricants de choisir les meilleures combinaisons entre les composants pour optimiser la performance énergétique des appareils.

Plus globalement, ces exigences se révèlent en général source d’innovations notamment avec l’introduction de performances saisonnières et des fluides frigorigènes à faible GWP. A l’issue des débats, il apparaît que l’introduction de nouvelles réglementations et leur mise en oeuvre doivent cependant s’accompagner d’une surveillance efficace du marché dans l’Union européenne. La représentante de la direction générale « Entreprise » à la Commission européenne a affirmé que cet objectif est aujourd’hui une priorité.

SOURCE: Clima+Confort, 24 mai 2011, PAR: Pierre LE MERCIER, http://bit.ly/j5Z5TF

FEATURED

Highlights from OzonAction

The above & more from OzonAction website >>> http://bit.ly/jCcHeP

8th World Television Award presented during 2011 Asia Media Summit, Hanoi, Vietnam Mr. Rajendra Shende, Head of OzonAction Branch, presented atrophy and a certificate to the winner of the 8th World Television Award, Ms. Vanessa Fisher of Deutsche Welle TV from Germany who produced the film “Energy Efficient Refrigerators in Brazil”. This is the first time that UNEP OzonAction collaborated with Asia Institute for Broadcasting Development (Aand the partners to organize the World Television Award with the theme on ozone layer protection and safeguarding the global climate system.

Sizzling Temperatures, Air Conditioning and Energy Penalty: Dilemma for the Gulf Countries – Kuwait City, 18th May 2011. Do we have to pay energy penalty while implementing the last challenge of the Montreal Protocol that aims to protect the Ozone Layer? This was the question at the core of the symposium and discussion concluded in Kuwait City on 18th May 2011.
Read more | See photos

Ozone2Climate Technology Road Show, the first showcase of technological alternatives to ozone depleting substance (ODS) in South East Asia, took place in the Maldives. Alongside, also took place an Industry Roundtable on Climate and Ozone-Friendly Technologies in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning in Serbia (10-11 May). Click here to read more about the “ozone and climate friendly technology” week.

The Ozone2Climate Technology Road Show presentation slides are now available on the OzonAction SlideShare channel at > http://slidesha.re/j9p1lJ

READING

China Fluorine Refrigerant Industry Report, 2010

NEW YORK, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue: The destruction of ozone layer can cause global warming, which has in recent years become a thorny environmental problem. As the culprit, some fluorine refrigerant products have been or are being forced to phase out and, meanwhile, new environment-friendly refrigerants have been developed and put into application.

China, as a developing country, lags behind the developed countries in the effort to eliminate fluorine refrigerant products. At the same time, China is actively implementing export restriction towards fluorite and hydrofluoric acid, a move exerts grave impact on foreign enterprises concerned. In this sense, it brings great opportunities to the fluorine refrigerant industry of China in the short term.

China’s major fluorine refrigerant products include R22, R134a, R125 and R32, the total capacity of which reached 854,000 tons in 2010. In particular, R22 is most widely used as refrigerant for household air-conditioner, with the capacity totaling 608,000 tons; R134a as refrigerant for auto air-conditioner, with the capacity totaling 126,000 tons; R125 and R32 are mainly used for producing R410-mixed refrigerant, with the capacity of 69,200 tons and 50,500 tons, respectively; R410a, used as refrigerant for household air-conditioner, has become an essential substitute of R22.

Key domestic enterprises in fluorine refrigerant industry include: Dongyue Group, Juhua Group Corporation, Jiangsu Meilan Chemical Group and Shanghai 3F New Materials. There exist big differences among them in terms of product structure and capacity resulting from different technical route, scale of equipment and development focus.

As far as R22, R134a, R125 and R32 are concerned, Dongyue Group boasts the largest enterprise in terms of product structure and total capacity. In 2010, the capacity of the company realized 178,000 tons, of which, the capacity of R22 reached 150,000 tons, ranking the first place at home. The runner-up went to Juhua Group Corporation, with the capacity totaling 134,000 tons. As for Jiangsu Meilan Chemical Group and Sinochem Lantian, they lead the way in R125 and R134a market segments, respectively, with the market share of 31.7% and 27.8%, respectively. Shanghai 3F New Materials falls behind when it comes to the total capacity of fluorine refrigerant, but it holds dominating position in China’s fluorine refrigerant industry dependent on comparatively comprehensive industry chain.

This report not only highlights the operation environment, current development, impact on upstream and downstream sectors, development outlook and key enterprises in China’s fluorine refrigerant industry, but probes into the demand & supply, competition pattern and price trend of the major four fluorine refrigerants R22, R134a, R125 and R32.

China Fluorine Refrigerant Industry Report, 2010 > http://bit.ly/l9iYlQ

SOURCE: ReportLinker, 28 April 2011, http://www.reportlinker.com

The recently launched Green Economy Report compiled by UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative in collaboration with economists and experts worldwide as well as important contributions from within UNEP DITE. It demonstrates that the greening of economies is not generally a drag on growth but rather a new engine of growth; that it is a net generator of decent jobs, and that it is also a vital strategy for the elimination of persistent poverty. The report seeks to motivate policy makers to create the enabling conditions for increased investments in a transition to a green economy.

We invite you to visit the “Montreal Protocol Who’s Who”, to learn more / nominate an ozone layer protection champion from your country/region >> http://www.unep.fr/ozonaction/information/MontrealProtocolWhosWho.htm. Feel free to include a link on your website.

The United Nations Environment Programme Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP DTIE) OzonAction Programme provides OzoNews as a free service for internal, non-commercial use by members of the Montreal Protocol community. The goal of OzoNews is to provide current news relating to ozone depletion and the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, to stimulate discussion and promote cooperation in support of compliance with the Montreal Protocol. With the exception of items written by UNEP and occasional contributions solicited from other organizations, the news is sourced from on-line newspapers, journals and websites. The views expressed in articles written by external authors are solely the viewpoints of those authors and do not represent the policy or viewpoint of UNEP. While UNEP strives to avoid inclusion of misleading or inaccurate information, it is ultimately the responsibility of the reader to evaluate the accuracy of any news article in OzoNews. The citing of commercial technologies, products or services does not constitute endorsement of those items by UNEP.

If you have questions or comments regarding any news item, please contact the source indicated at the bottom of each article directly.

Directed by: Rajendra Shende, Head OzonAction Branch
Reviewed by: Anne Fenner, Information Manager
Prepared by: Samira de Gobert, OzonAction Information

If you wish to submit articles, invite new subscribers, please contact: Mrs. Samira de Gobert, Tel. (+33) 1 44.37.14.52, samira.degobert@unep.org

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