Background and Objective
With developing countries’ growing demand for refrigeration and air conditioning, inventories of appliances, foams and products containing halogenated hydrocarbons (HFCs) also increase apace. This results in a rise in the number of older refrigeration appliances which are not disposed of in an environmentally sound way. Unless these appliances are properly stored and disposed of, the climate and ozone-damaging substances they contain leak into the atmosphere unabated. Each year, approximately 1.5 Gt CO2-eq are released from improperly managed or disposed refrigerants. . This is equivalent to the annual carbon emissions from 441 coal-fired power plants. Consequently, correct disposal of old refrigerators and air conditioning units harbors vast emission reduction potential.
The COPA project, implemented by GIZ, aims to position this topic in the international arena as a cost-efficient and effective measure – both for use in achieving nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and in developing concrete emission reduction activities. By joining forces with additional implementing partners as well as financial donors, the Alliance aims to contribute towards substantial emission reductions in the longer term.
Halogenated hydrocarbons are mainly CFCs and their derivatives (HCFCs, HFCs), which are mostly harmful to both ozone and the climate due to their chlorine and fluorine elements;  UNEP, TEAP, 2009, Environmentally sound management of banks of ozone-depleting substances, p. 17
In a first step, COPA relies on cooperation with metropolitan regions in its partner countries China, Ghana, Mexico and Tunisia. Further member countries are to be added over time. The metropolitan regions and member countries earmarked to receive advice under the auspices of the Alliance are analyzed and characterized as part of an ongoing process.
Project activities include on the one hand expanding the Alliance by means of network creation and political positioning, and on the other hand conducting market studies (ODS /HFC Bank Inventories) and developing models for pilot-based implementation of emission reduction activities in selected metropolitan regions in the partner countries. The Alliance now has almost 50 members. These are 11 countries - represented by National Ozone Units - as well as representatives of the public and private sectors, academia, civil society, and financial institutions.
Milestones and Outlook
In a first step, focus is placed on expanding the Alliance and developing emission reduction activities in the four partner countries: China, Ghana, Mexico, and Tunisia. In the long term, the Alliance will contribute to substantial reduction of emissions from legacy HFCs by providing technical advice to improve prevailing conditions, foster capacity building and promote technology cooperation and transfer. It will also facilitate access to finance for the development of appropriate reclamation and destruction infrastructure.
The following measures and activities are planned for the further project period:
- Active exchange and cooperation among COPA members
- Design and preparation of mitigation measures
- Positioning the need for ODS and HFC bank management and the alliance at international events
- Provision of technical support to members and assistance in accessing financial resources
- First plenary meeting took place in June 2023
- Presentation by COPA at Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol 34, Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 27 and Open Ended Working Group 45 to the Montreal Protocol
Check out COPA's Events: Events (copalliance.org)