ASHRAE, United Nations Partner on Emission Reduction
ATLANTA – On the occasion of the global celebration of World Environment Day (5 June), two international organisations focused on the environment have joined forces to reduce emissions and encourage energy-efficient refrigeration and air conditioning systems and building designs. This agreement takes place in the highly symbolic year of 2007, which marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol and the 10th anniversary of the Kyoto Protocol.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) have formalized an agreement to cooperate in several technical issues of mutual interest such as assessing and addressing remaining chlorofluorocarbon-based chillers and promoting activities aiming at introducing the dimension of sustainability in areas related to emissions reduction to the atmosphere, efficient energy systems and building design.
In the mid-1980s, worldwide concern occurred over damage to the ozone layer from the use of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These substances have important applications, including refrigerants, heat transfer fluids and blowing agents for insulating foams.
In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was adopted after a hole was discovered in the ozone over Antarctica. Under the Protocol, CFC use for new equipment has ceased in developed countries, and HCFC usage has been capped and is scheduled to be phased out. Developing countries have agreed to phaseout schedules for both CFCs and HCFCs and have made substantial progress in meeting this commitment. Many new technologies to replace CFCs and HCFCs have emerged with hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) mainly and not-in kind technologies in some sectors, which have zero ozone depletion potential but positive global warming potential, as one of the most popular.
“ASHRAE and the heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigerating (HVAC&R) industry are responding to growing global demand for new technologies that do not contribute to ozone depletion and are energy efficient,” Terry Townsend, ASHRAE president, said. “Energy efficiency is a key issue because the burning of fossil fuels to generate electric power is considered a major greenhouse gas emitter. By partnering with UNEP/DTIE, we can further our respective work by mutual exchange of technical guidance.”
” 30 months from now CFCs will be only found in history books with a remaining burden to deal with thousands of tones banked in existing systems” Rajendra Shende of UNEP said. “An intenational debate has just also triggered about accelerated scenarios for phasing out HCFCs as well as the future of higher global warming HFCs refrigerants. It’s quite clear that HVAC&R industry has and will continue evolving rapidly to respond to such global concerns and movements; joining hands with ASHRAE as a world pioneering association in HVAC&R will definitely has its positive impact in addressing many clients with latest technologies and updates”
ASHRAE & UNEP already experienced the value of such cooperation in a smaller scale through successful implementation and cooperation through the ASHRAE chapters and UNEP regional Office in West Asia who signed regional cooperation agreement in 2005.
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of some 50,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfills its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.
UNEP, the United Nations environment agency, is an Implementing Agency of both the Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund and the Global Environment Facility. Under these mandates, UNEP/DTIE’s OzonAction Branch assists developing countries and countries with economies in transition to comply with the control measures set by Montreal Protocol and its amendments.
UNEP: Rajendra Shende, Head UNEP DTIE OzonAction Branch, Paris, France, Tel: +33 1 44 37 14 58, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.unep.fr/ozonaction