Caribbean Countries Consider Innovative Approaches for Energy-Efficient Cooling under Kigali Amendment

QUITO, ECUADOR, 31 October 2018.—Thirty-one experts including officials from 9 Caribbean governments gathered in this Andean capital to identify opportunities and forge cooperation for promoting energy efficient cooling equipment in their countries and region. The catalyst for the gathering was the recent agreement of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances the Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Amendment, which will enter into force on 1 January 2019, is helping to protect the climate by phasing down the use of powerful greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These gases are commonly used in air conditioners and refrigerators. During the transition to alternative gases taking place under the Montreal Protocol, countries have the opportunity to introduce more energy-efficient cooling equipment that would not only reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also save consumers and businesses money on their electricity bills, help utilities meet ever growing needs for power, and enable governments to reduce fossil fuel imports.

The two-day “Twinning Workshop on Energy-Efficient and Climate-Friendly Refrigeration and Air Conditioning” was organized from 20-31 October in Quito by UN Environment Programme’s OzonAction Branch and United for Efficiency initiative, and delivered in cooperation with ASHRAE, the international engineering society. The event was supported by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP), a new philanthropic initiative that is committing US$ 52 million to help developing countries transition to energy-efficient, climate-friendly, affordable cooling solutions.

The workshop brought together two traditionally separate communities from the governments of the Caribbean region – those responsible for managing compliance with the Montreal Protocol and those responsible for national energy policies. With their combined expertise and remits, these officials are key to transitioning global markets toward better performing cooling products that also protect the Earth’s climate.

Dr. Gabrielle Dreyfus, Head of Policies, Standards and Programs, K-CEP, noted “The government officials coming together in this Twinning workshop together hold one of the most powerful levers to keep the planet well below 2°C and avoid dangerous climate change. They make the policies that will determine the future of cooling equipment. How efficient, clean and affordable will the air conditioners and refrigerators being designed today and bought tomorrow be? The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program is pleased to work with UN Environment to support these officials to develop the knowledge and tools to maximize the climate and development benefits from a transition to efficient, clean cooling as opened up by the historic Kigali Amendment.”

James S. Curlin, Network and Policy Manager, UN Environment, stated that “It is becoming increasingly evident to many people that one of the major paths to reaching climate protection success is by a combined approach that replaces refrigerants and increases the energy efficiency of the cooling and refrigeration equipment that use them. UN Environment obtained support from K-CEP to hold these Twinning workshops, which build on the successful platform of the Regional Networks of Ozone Officers under the Multilateral Fund, to provide space for Ozone Officers and Energy Officials to find common ground and start a dialogue that they will continue once they return home.”

UN Environment gave the respective groups short introductions to the Montreal Protocol and energy efficiency. ASHRAE delivered a technology overview and organized a hands-on training session using a room air-conditioner, which was well-appreciated by the participants. UN Environment and Barbados National Standards Institute (BNSI) shared global and regional perspectives on policies for transforming cooling markets, as well as model programmes and policies. Inspiring country case examples were then shared by The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and Saint Lucia. Along with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the United4Efficiency presented options that could be considered for financing energy-efficient cooling programmes. The Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) presented an overview of the regional energy landscape, and OzonAction did the same for refrigerants. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) moderated a group discussion of priorities for enhancing regional collaboration, then the National Ozone Officer of Barbados led collective discussion on the way forward. Throughout, the workshop employed practical exercises and interactive discussions to delve into critical issues such as understanding the national context, identifying and engaging stakeholders, data collection, and implementing model policies and programmes.

Overall, the workshop achieved its goal of starting a “twinning” dialogue between the Ozone Officers and energy officials and beginning the flow of information at the national level related to the energy efficiency and refrigerants nexus, the first step down the road towards realizing the goals of the Kigali Amendment.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

James Curlin, Network and Policy Manager, OzonAction, UN Environment Programme. Phone: +33 1 44 37 14 55 Email: jim.curlin@un.org

Brian Holuj, Programme Officer, United for Efficiency, UN Environment Programme. Phone: +33 1 44 37 42 60 Email: brian.holuj@un.org

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