DENR pushes for policy strengthening against ozone depleting substance HCFC that causes global warming

June 6, 2021

            The government is pushing for the establishment of policies for the use of “low carbon, energy efficient” cold chain system to totally eliminate the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons  (HCFC), an ozone depleting substance causing global warming.

            In a project costing $27.5 million, the “Global  Partnership for Improving the Food Cold Chain in the Philippines” (GPI-FCCP),  DENR is also carrying out a program putting up environment-friendly cold chain facilities.  

            These refrigeration systems for transporting goods for the food industry will no longer use ODS-HCFC.

            Stringent policies are important in providing a stable investment environment for investors in “green” cooling technologies, the DENR said.

            Cold chain covers every produce that needs cooling from the “field to the fork (transport, storage, transformation, packaging).  Policies will involve national standards for flammable refrigerants and revision of energy efficiency standards.

How ozone depleting substances affect the atmosphere; Source- DW

            A project assisted by international funder Global Environment Facility (GEF), the GPI-FCCP includes training of 200 key stakeholders on energy-efficiency and climate-friendly cold chain technologies. 

            There is also a high level training for 50 local engineers, system suppliers and end-users on the use of global innovative cold chain technology.

            Major implementers of the GPI-FCCP are the DENR and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization).   A co-financier is Germany’s international cooperation agency GIZ (Gesselschaft fur Internationanale Zusammenarbeit).    

            According to the DENR, the cold chain project came about as part of the Philippines’ compliance to its commitment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol.  It is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

              The ozone is the earth’s protective layer, absorbing UV light which reduces human’s exposure to harmful (skin cancer and cataract-causing) ultraviolet radiation.

              ODS includes chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbontetrachloride, methy chloroform, hydrobromofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), methyl bromide, and bromochloromethane.

            Refrigeration technologies have come out as top concern to have energy efficiency and low Global Warming Potential (GWP).  It is because refrigerants extensively use  hydrochlorofluorocarbons  (HCFC) that have been found to be ozone-depleting.

            The Montreal Protocol compelled signatory countries to freeze consumption and production of the ODS hydrochloroflouocarbons (HCFCs).  Developing countries should have cut by 100% their HCFC production by 2030.

            Private sector engagement will be crucial in the Philippines’ effort in obtaining knowledge transfer of the most innovative, climate friendly, and energy efficient refrigeration technologies, the DENR said. (Melody Mendoza Aguiba)

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