UNDP supports environmentally friendly cooling approaches in Türkiye to facilitate financial and environmental benefits

December 16, 2023
Photo: Mustafa Umut Dulun

Training of technicians in Istanbul supports the transition to low carbon refrigerants

Ahead of COP28 in Dubai, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held a training programme in Istanbul on 23-24 November 2023 for technicians working in the cooling and refrigeration sectors. The training was part of the Cool Up programme with the aim to provide theoretical and practical know-how on safe use of natural refrigerants to accelerate the transition from synthetic to natural refrigerants in cooling devices. Training of technical personnel working in after-sales and maintenance services in the cooling sector is vital for the Turkish economy and climate action as the Montreal Protocol requires a gradual phase-down from 2024 onwards for Türkiye, and the transition to natural refrigerants becomes an obligation.

Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing rapidly all over the world. Seventy percent of the world's carbon emissions occur as a result of energy consumption. The refrigeration and air conditioning sectors are among the main culprits that create this energy demand since air conditioners and electric fans currently consume 20 percent of the electricity used in buildings around the world.

Due to the growing industry and population in the Middle East and North Africa Region, energy demand is expected to increase by 50 percent by 2040. This means more carbon emissions that result in higher temperature increases, and higher temperatures mean more cooling demand. However, there is a way to break this vicious cycle. 

The Montreal Protocol requires transition to the use of low and zero-global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerants. Most of the manufacturers in Türkiye, on the other hand, do not have sufficient information about the necessity of transitioning to sustainable cooling, especially in the refrigeration industry, and about the calendar that these obligations will be made mandatory. In addition, there is a lack of personnel with technical knowledge to replace the gases used in existing cooling devices with natural refrigerants.

Türkiye will gain economical and environmental benefits of transitioning to natural refrigerants. 

Although it varies depending on scale of the equipment, replacing existing high-GWP fluorinated greenhouse gases with natural refrigerants will compensate the investments in approximately 2 years due to higher efficiency of the latter. Further, using natural refrigerants in the cooling industry can prevent global warming by up to 0.4 degrees on a global scale by 2100.

Cool Up programme is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany and implemented by 10 consortium partners, led by Guidehouse. As the implementing partner of the programme in Türkiye, UNDP is working with private sector partners and government to facilitate the transition to natural refrigerants through raising awareness and personnel training activities.