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Refrigeration & Air Conditioning

RefrigerationCFCs are used in numerous refrigeration and air conditioning applications worldwide, for example in domestic and commercial refrigeration, cold storage, food processing, transport and industrial refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps, chillers, and mobile air conditioning. HCFCs have been used as as CFC alternatives in refrigeration but are considered "transitional substances" and they too will be phased out.

CFCs and HCFCs are ozone depleting substances whose production and consumption is controlled under the Montreal Protocol. With support from the Protocol's Multilateral Fund delivered by UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO, the World Bank and bilateral agencies, developing countries are phasing out these ozone depleting chemicals in this sector.

The main global refrigerant options for the long term are HFCs and HFC-blends, ammonia, hydrocarbons and blends, carbon dioxide, and water. All have advantages and disadvantages that should be closely considered, e.g. performance, toxity, flammability, global warming potential, energy efficiency, cost.

Refrigerant management encompasses replacement of CFCs and HCFCs by other refrigerants, recovery and recycling, and retrofitting of existing equipment. Refrigerant Management Plans are important tools for developing countries to develop and implement integrated, cost-effective strategies for ODS phase out in this sector.

Information about this topic

Publications produced by UNEP
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Publications produced by other organisations
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Reports of the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Technical Option Committee 
Projects in this sector implemented by UNEP
OzonAction Newsletter

Need help with Refrigerants?

UNEP helps developing countries to comply with their refrigeration-related commitments under the Montreal Protocol. We provide National Ozone Units (NOUs) and other stakeholders, e.g. refrigeration servicing technicians, refrigeration associations and training institutes, with the following assistance:

  • Information clearinghouse services, including videos, publications, newsletters, e-news
  • Training and capacity building activities
  • Direct assistance for specific technical, policy and data reporting needs related to refrigeration and air conditioning

This assistance is provided through the three Refrigerant Management Plan Officers in UNEP's Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP). Regional Network Coordinators and Information Clearinghouse staff also provide support.

If you are an Ozone Officer or other stakeholder and you need help with refrigerant management, please contact the CAP Regional Network Coordinator in your region or the staff of the other Multilateral Fund Implementing Agencies (see contacts at right).

Phase out schedule
SolarChill Initiative
Refrigerants, Naturally
Mobile air conditioning partnership
Trade names of chemical products containing ozone depleting substances and their alternatives
UNEP Compliance Assistance Programme
UNDP Montreal Protocol Unit External link
UNIDO Montreal Protocol Unit External link
World Bank Montreal Protocol Operations External link
R744.com - Marketplace for CO2 Technology
Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) External link
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) External link
International Institute of Refrigeration/Institut International du Froid (IIR/IIF) External link
Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) External link
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) External link
© UNEP DTIE 2007 | updated 16-jan-09