Climate Change 2001:
Working Group III: Mitigation
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A3.7 Developing Countries and Countries with
Economies in Transition

Developing countries have until 2010 to phase out CFCs, whereas some countries with economies in transition (EIT) have largely met the more stringent schedules of the developed countries. However, both country groups are concerned that any potential future restrictions on the use of HFCs in the developed countries might reduce the availability of these substances to developing countries and EITs. This could limit the possibilities for them to comply with their Montreal Protocol obligations. Possible impacts are anticipated in the refrigeration, air conditioning, and foam sectors. It will be clear that the availability of HFC supplies to those developing countries and EITs that have selected HFC technologies is essential for manufacturing if supplies and service to customers are to be maintained.

It will be advantageous for both developing countries and countries with economies in transition if they develop and prioritize consistent strategies that simultaneously address the protection of the ozone layer and the mitigation of climate change. Such strategies utilized to date include emission reductions, the selection of zero ODP and low GWP solutions wherever possible, as well as the optimization of the energy efficiency of products in conversion projects by the Multilateral Fund (MLF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The mechanisms that have guided developing countries towards a successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol should be studied within the framework of mechanisms that are being negotiated for the Kyoto Protocol. It can be emphasized here that capacity building is seen as at least as important for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol as it is for the Montreal Protocol.

A3.7.1 Technology Selection

Certain non-ODP substitutes and alternative technologies to CFCs and HCFCs have become available in recent years for many applications. The selection of the substitute or alternative technology is based on a balance of maturity, availability, cost-effectiveness, energy-efficiency, safety, and safety costs. The selection is also influenced by local circumstances, preferences of enterprises, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of certain technologies, joint venture partners and customers, availability of training, and regulatory compliance. This implies that developing countries need access to the newest information and need to be part of an adequate technical review process so that they can assess the choice of the most appropriate and integrated environmental solutions. In addition, those developing countries that receive financial assistance from the MLF for the conversion process and select HCFC-based technologies must submit a thorough justification as to why these are preferred. This is because the countries have to take into account the decisions by the Montreal Protocol Parties that state that certain fluorocarbon-based technologies should be avoided if more environmentally friendly and acceptable technologies are available, as well as the guidelines developed by the MLF Executive Committee for the implementation of these technologies.

A3.7.2 Impact of Replacement Technology Options in Montreal Protocol MLF Projects

HCFC- and HFC-based technologies have not been significant alternative choices in the phase-out of ODSs in aerosols and in solvent applications, or in the fire extinguishing sector. However, HCFCs and HFCs have been selected as significant alternatives to ODSs in the foam, refrigeration, and air conditioning sectors. Table A3.6 shows the quantities of controlled substances (CFCs) that have been (or are in the process of being) phased out in developing countries through projects approved under the Montreal Protocol’s multilateral fund (to date, over US$1 billion has been used to support these phase-out activities). Table A3.6 also shows the replacement technology selected in the different refrigeration and foam sectors and sub-sectors. Table A3.6 presents data for projects, approved by the Executive Committee of the MLF and listed under the Inventory of Approved Projects of the MLF Secretariat as of March 1999, see UNEP (1999b).

Table A3.6: Replacement technology options in multilateral Fund-approved projects in developing countries (UNEP, 1999b)
Use sector (# projects) ODS Impact
(ODP t)
ODP tonnes to be eliminated according to technology selected      
      HCFC   HFC   Hydrocarbons   Other  
     
Type
(t)
Type
(t)
Type
(t)
Type
(t)
1-Refrigeration                    
a-Domestic (168)                    

Foam
Refrigerant

CFC-11
CFC-12
16,589
5,241
HCFC-141b
4,379
0

HFC-
134a/152a/blends
0
4,553
Cyclopentane
Isobutane
12,188
688
 
0
0
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
b-Commercial (161)  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Foam
Refrig (plus chillers)

CFC-11
CFC-12
R-502
2,432
1,136
1
HCFC-141b
HCFC-22
HCFC-22
1,648
4
1

HFC-134a
0
1,132
Cyclopentane
784
0
 
0
0
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
c-Insulation foam (34) CFC-11
CFC-12
1,998
8
HCFC-141b/blends
HCFC-141b
636
8
 
0
0
Cyclopentane
849
0
H2O/CO2
513
0
2-Foam  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
a-Flexible molded (12) CFC-11
450
HCFC-141b
66
 
0
 
0
H2O/CO2/Me-Cl
384
b-Flexible slabstock (159) CFC-11
11,934
HCFC-141b
35
 
0
 
0
H2O/CO2/Me-Cl
11,899
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
c-Integral skin (84) CFC-11
2,573
HCFC-141b
597
 
0
Hexane/pentane
345
H2O/CO2
1,631
d-Polystyr./polyethyl. (63) CFC-11
1,204
 
0
 
0
Butane/ isobutane/ LPG/
980
CO2/CO2-butane blend
224
   
 
 
 
 
 
Pentane / isopentane
 
 
 
  CFC-12
CFC-114
6,280
40
HCFC-22/-142b
196
0
 
0
0
Butane/LPG/pentane
LPG
6,084
40
 
0
0
e-Rigid foam (238) CFC-11
10,938
HCFC-
141b/-22/-142b
7,144
HFC-134a
58
Cyclopentane
3,003
H2O/CO2
733
f-Multiple sub-sector (30) CFC-11
1,829
HCFC-141b
556
 
0
Butane
200
H2O/ CO2/ Me-Cl/ LCD
1,073
Note: Data have been reproduced from the data presented in UNEP (1999b) which were directly taken from the internal report "Inventory of Approved Projects", as published by the Multilateral Fund Secretariat, Montreal, March 1999.

A3.7.2.1 Foams Sector

The present contribution of HFCs as a direct replacement technology for ODSs in projects approved under the MLF in the foam sector is much less than 1% of the total tonnage of ODS replaced in this sector. Table A3.6 presents the breakdown of ODS replaced in each of the foam sub-sectors. The contribution of hydrocarbons is significant. The overall contribution of zero-ODP and low-GWP technologies selected to replace ODSs is close to 27,000 ODP tonnes or about 75% (see Table A3.6).

Wherever application of zero-ODP technologies was not feasible because of availability, safety, and safety-related costs, or for energy-efficiency reasons, HCFCs (HCFC-22, -141b, and -142b) have been selected as a transitional replacement in all foam sub-sectors. In the medium term HCFCs are expected to be replaced by zero-ODP and low-GWP substitutes, such as water, carbon dioxide or hydrocarbons, except in certain parts of the rigid polyurethane foam sub-sector where HFC alternatives are expected to play an important role in the medium to long term. Table A3.6 also presents the HCFC contribution; it amounts to about 25% of the total tonnage of ODSs replaced.

While several mid-size and large domestic and commercial refrigeration companies have switched to hydrocarbons in the rigid foam sector, most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the developing countries have had more difficulties in this selection of hydrocarbons because of safety concerns and related higher manufacturing costs. Next to large companies, many of these SMEs have selected HCFC-141b as a transitional substance. All these companies will have to switch to the use of other, non-ODP substances when HCFC availability cannot be guaranteed or HCFCs will be phased out according to Montreal Protocol schedules. It is expected that a large part of this SME sector will convert to HFC alternatives in the medium to long term. With regard to HCFCs, questions on HCFC availability after 2003 are of serious concern to developing countries; these will be evaluated by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel, at the request of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. With regard to HFCs, it should be mentioned that enterprises are uncertain whether their businesses will be impacted if, in the near future, certain developed countries decide to put certain (national) restrictions on the use of HFCs, influencing their availability for the developing countries.

A3.7.2.2 Refrigeration Sector

There are only a limited number of options to replace ODSs in this sector. HCFCs have been selected as an interim replacement technology for ODSs, where non-ODP alternatives could not be applied, and their share represents about 24% of the total tonnage of ODSs replaced in the sector as a whole (see Table A3.6).

In refrigeration products the foam considered is exclusively rigid polyurethane foam. As a direct replacement for ODS blowing agents in the foam, the contribution of HFCs is negligible in the projects approved by the Multilateral Fund. In contrast to this very small contribution, hydrocarbons have accounted for 53% of the total ODS replacement in the sector, which includes both the refrigeration and the foam part; their share is about 66% in the replacement of ODS foam blowing agents. In these projects, zero-ODP and low-GWP alternatives could meet the requirements on availability, safety and safety related costs, and the stringent energy efficiency.

As shown in Table A3.6, the contribution of HFC-based technology as a direct refrigerant replacement technology is close to 21% of the total ODS replacement in the sector, if both the refrigeration and the insulating foam part are included. Where it concerns the refrigeration part, for both domestic and commercial refrigeration, HFCs constitute about 89% of the refrigerant replacement. The conversion of refrigeration components and the refrigeration manufacturing plants is to a large extent determined by market availability and by market forces (compressor suppliers); of course, there is also a direct relation to manufacturing and safety costs.

A3.7.3 General Concerns and Opportunities

For the developing countries, financial assistance is available for agreed incremental costs associated with the ODS phase-out through the multilateral fund under the Montreal Protocol. Likewise, financial assistance from the GEF is available for countries with economies in transition. GEF financing is currently available to improve energy efficiency and other reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), guidelines of which are still being negotiated within the Kyoto Protocol framework, might also provide opportunities to reduce HFC emissions.

Further opportunities exist in those parts of the refrigeration and air conditioning sector in which large emissions of HFCs occur, and for equipment that will need thorough maintenance; this particularly applies to mobile air conditioning, commercial, and transport refrigeration. Where emission reductions are possible, best-practices training is needed (UNDP et al., 1999).

Under the Multilateral Fund, enterprises are eligible for financial assistance for only one conversion. This makes it crucial for an enterprise to choose a technology that is cost effective, environmentally acceptable, and globally sustainable. It is very important that developing countries and countries with economies in transition examine opportunities for consistent strategies to simultaneously protect the ozone layer and to mitigate climate change. Such opportunities, inter alia, may be in the field of emission reductions, the direct transition to non-fluorocarbon low GWP alternatives where possible, as well as in the field of enhancing energy efficiencies. It would be advantageous if assistance given by the multilateral fund could be expanded to extra assistance from the GEF in terms of addressing the energy efficiency optimization aspect.

To date, when funds were available, manufacturers in the developing countries have responded rapidly to the goals of the Montreal Protocol, and to regulations in the developed countries that prohibited import of products made with or containing ODSs. Uncertainties regarding the availability of HCFCs and regarding the impact of possible restrictions on the use of HFCs in certain developed countries may delay the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in EITs and developing countries; this aspect can be considered as an interlinkage between the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols and it is the subject of further study.



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