ECA Network

On 9 January 2017, the Madrid Provincial Court convicted a former company owner to a six-month prison sentence, a fine and prohibited the involvement in any commercial activity related to refrigeration or air-conditioning during a period of 6 years. After closure of his enterprise in 2012, the person decided to sell the remaining equipment and materials and offered a 60 kg R22 refrigerant cylinder on Internet.  He was aware of the fact that selling HCFC refrigerant in Europe is illegal. The advertisement was spotted by the SEPRONA Unit in the Public Prosecutor´s Office for Environment and Land Planning on 11 January 2013, and the Guardia Civil offered to buy the R22 refrigerant under a fictitious name. The refrigerant cylinder was seized on 6 February 2013 and a court case initiated. The judge ordered the destruction of the refrigerant.


Please join us for a GreenChill webinar on Wednesday, March 8 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm Eastern. Tom Land from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will provide an overview of the GreenChill program and the resources it has developed for the supermarket industry.

To join the webinar:

1. Go to

2. Select "Enter as a Guest". It is important that you select the option to enter as a guest.

3. Enter your name.

4. Click "Enter Room".

5. Click "OK".


Short training videos for refrigeration technicians to refresh their technical knowledge/skills in terms of good practices and safety

We are pleased to announce the new mobile application "RAC Technician Video Series" is now available for download from Google Play Store (for Android) and App Store/iTunes (for iOS). 

This tool aims to help new technicians in the Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning servicing sector who are undergoing training or those who already have previous experience and would like to refresh their technical knowledge/skills in terms of good practices, and safety.

The RAC  videos were developed in collaboration with the German technical institute, Bundesfachschule Klima Kälte Teknik (BFS). They are available in English, French, Spanish and German (being finalised). We shall produce shortly versions of the video in Chinese, Russian and Arabic, We will inform you once these are available.

Note that the videos can also be viewed from the OzonAction Youtube channel. However additional information can only be accessed through the app. Moreover, the experience of viewing the videos is better through the app, so please encourage our clients to download it.


Thematic meeting on implementation of HCFC phase-out management plans (HPMPs) Belgrade, Serbia, 29 November – 1 December 2016

Media Briefing

Belgrade, Serbia, 1 December 2016 – Heads of national refrigeration assocations and Montreal Protocol focal points from Eastern European countries, Greece and Tunisia enhance ozone layer protection and sustainable management of climate gases: The experts shared highlights, challenges and lessons learnt from the implementation of their respective HCFC phase-out strategies and from the surveys on ozone-friendly alternatives during the thematic meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, 29 November – 1 December 2016.

Mr. Slobodan Erdeljan, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, opened the thematic meeting and highlighted that the Republic of Serbia fulfilled its obligations under the Montreal Protocol and reduced its consumption of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by more than 10% below the baseline level in 2015. He wished the participants a successful meeting and encouraged them to share their knowledge and lessons learned and to assist each other to overcome any potential barriers to Montreal Protocol implementation.

Ms. Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, the UN Country Team Resident Representative welcomed the participants and drew attention to the importance of the Paris Agreement which entered into force on Friday, 4 November 2016. The agreement has been ratified by 113 out of 197 countries including Albania, Belarus, Turkmenistan and Ukraine from the Eastern Europe & Central Asia region. It aims to limit global warming to 2 degrees C by the year 2100. The Kigali Agreement to the Montreal Protocol has been agreed on 15 October 2016 and aims to phase-down high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). It will avoid half a degree C of global warming and thus significantly contributes to the objectives of the Paris Agreement. It transforms the Montreal Protocol into a powerful treaty for climate protection. The UN Country Team remains committed to assist Serbia to ratify and implement the Paris Agreement and Kigali Amendment as part of Serbia's Development Partnership Framework.

It was the first time that such thematic meeting was held in the margin of the annual International Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC&R) Congress and Exhibition of the Serbian Association of HVAC&R Engineers (KGH). Mr. Branislav Todorović, President of the KGH Association, emphasized the benefits of combining the thematic meeting with the international congress and invited the participants to attend the thematic sessions, the forum on energy efficiency in climate and ozone-friendly modern technologies and the exhibition space.

Mr. Tim Wentz, the President of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), remarked on the collaborative history of ASHRAE and UN Environment searching technical solutions for countries with hot ambient climates and building the capacity of refrigeration experts. ASHRAE is a partner of the refrigerant driving license - a recent initiative led by UN Environment and AHRI - to develop a global and industry-driven training and assessment tool for refrigeration experts. This initiative allows interested experts to acquire the minimum skills needed for safely serving ozone- and climate-friending refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

Mr. Didier Coulomb, General Director of the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR), reiterated that Serbia was one of the founding members of IIR more than 100 years ago and congratulated the Parties to the Montreal Protocol for successfully protecting the ozone layer. The phase-down of hydrochlorocarbons (HFCs) under the recently agreed Kigali Amendment will require focusing on safety issues, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies. Closer cooperation with the national climate and energy focal points will be crucial.

The meeting focused on the HCFC phase-out strategies and the surveys on ozone-friendly alternatives in the participating countries. The results of the surveys will provide a better understanding of the current use and consumption trends of high global warming HFCs as well as climate friendly HFOs and natural refrigerants by sector and by substance. Such data will be useful for informed policy making and sustainable refrigerant management. The voluntary inclusion of HFCs and possibly other refrigerants in the national import / export licensing system and the informal Prior Informed Consent mechanism might enhance data accuracy. Several participants highlighted the importance to involve the national climate focal points in the surveys, in particular because of their experience of calculation emission inventories.

Several sessions were dedicated to the strengthening of legislation, the adoption safety and performance standards, training and certification of technicians and companies, the promotion of ozone and climate-friendly technologies and the role of RAC associations in implementing the Montreal Protocol.

The International Institute of Refrigeration and Serbia expressed interest in the Refrigerant Driving License – an initiative of UN Environment OzonAction in cooperation with the Air-conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and interested refrigeration & air-conditioning (RAC) associations. The aim of this initiatives is the development of a globally recognized and industry-driven certification scheme for RAC service technicians allowing them to work safely with ozone and climate-friendly refrigerants. Interested RAC associations are invited to participate in the steering committee and countries might participate in the pilot phase in 2017 (subject to regional distribution) or the global launch in 2018. China included the Refrigerant Driving License in its HCFC phase-out strategy and this might also be a viable option for countries without an operational certification system.

UNIDO’s representative briefed the participants on the status of the regional training center currently being established in Yerevan as a Russian bilateral project with UNIDO as implementing agency. The aim of this “center of excellence” is the promotion of climate-friendly RAC technologies in the developing (Article 50 countries of the ECA network. A lyceum has been selected as the training facility and it is equipped among others with a classroom, a conference room, a computer room, work stations, a library, and a canteen. A website provides more detailed information and the start of the actual training activities is scheduled beginning of 2017.

Public procurement is increasingly recognized as a strategic tool to promote wider Government policies including environment protection, innovation, job creation and promoting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In average, it accounts for 12% GDP in OECD countries and 14% GDP in European Union countries and thus represents an immense purchasing power. Countries like China and India have included green public procurement in their HCFC phase-out strategies (stage II). This might be a powerful tool to promote ozone and climate-friendly technologies in the RAC sector.

For the first time, the agenda included a session on gender considerations in project implementation. There has been some discussion on how to apply gender analysis and statistics to projects addressing global environmental problems such as ozone layer depletion and global warming. The the future mandate of the Montreal Protocol addressing both ozone depletion and global warming will increasingly require addressing social dimensions and gender issues. This is already an eligibility criteria for several donor including the Green Climate Fund.

At the end of the meeting, the priorities of the UN Environment’s Regional Ozone Network for Europe & Central Asia (ECA network) were agreed. Next year’s network meeting will take place in Ohrid, Macedonia FYR, in May 2017. It will be held in parallel to the bi-annual congress of the International Institute of Refrigeration focusing on ammonia and carbon dioxide technologies to allow the refrigeration experts of the network countries to participate in selected sessions of the congress. Albania and Georgia agreed to host thematic meetings in autumn 2017.

The meeting has been organized by UN Environment OzonAction in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Serbia, UNDP Belgrade and SMEITS, as part of the work programme of the ECA network and funded by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.

Participants included Montreal Protocol focal points and refrigeration experts from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia FYR, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Turkey, guest experts from Greece and Tunisia, representatives of the implementing agencies UN Environment and UNIDO, ASHRAE, International Institute of Refrigeration, Eurammon, Johnson Controls as well as international experts from Macedonia FYR and Norway.


Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Serbia
Ms. Bojana Djurovic, Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol Focal Point
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UN Environment Paris
Mr. Halvart Koeppen, Coordinator of ECA Network
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UNIDO Vienna
Ms. Rodica Ivan, Industrial Development Officer
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Union of Mechanical and Electrical Engineers and Technicians of Serbia (SMEITS)
Mr. Vladan Galebovic
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Centro Studi Galileo published an International Special Issue 2016-2017 "The Road to Competence in Future Green Technologies. This valuable publication can be downloaded here (13 Mb), or viewed on-line.