Co-operation of the Western Cape and Bavaria on the transition to climate-friendly refrigeration and air conditioning

The Western Cape Government together with the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection implement a bilateral cooperation, aiming at a transformation of the cooling sector towards climate-friendly refrigeration and air conditioning.

The Challenge Refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) in South Africa and Bavaria contributes towards global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This will continue in the future as the demand for cooling equipment is rising. To date, most of the RAC applications use fluorinated gases (F-gases) – hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) or hydrofluorocarbons HFCs – as refrigerants. These sub-stances have a high global warming potential and are up to several thousand times more potent than carbon dioxide. When these gases leak – for example during operation, servicing or when an appliance is scrapped – they can cause substantial emissions to the environment.

Estimates show that without the recently adopted Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, the continuing growth of HFCs would be responsible for a 0.1°C temperature rise in 2050, with a potential to increase up to 0.5°C by 2100. A phase down of the production and consumption of HFCs can provide an estimated 6 to 10% of the total GHG reductions by 2050. The Government of Western Cape and the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protec-tion support the switch to climate friendly cooling technologies.

This can be done through cost-effective mitigation, such as the substitution of HFCs with natural refrigerants that do not damage the ozone layer and have lower global warming potentials. Policy instruments to advance more sustainable RAC solutions have proven effective, and as a result, climate-friendly systems that combine high energy efficiency with natural refrigerants and blowing agents are already established in a number of applications. The project is carried out in cooperation with Proklima – a programme of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

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