Co-operation with the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection on F-gas Reduction

Project Completion in December 2019

The cooperation project with the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection and GIZ GmbH has been successfully completed in December 2019. As part of the project, the LfU facilitated the training of eleven experts on the use of natural refrigerants in Germany. In addition, three workshops on natural refrigerants were held in Israel. The following report (in German) highlights the main conclusions of the project.

Background and Project Goals

The Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection (StMuV) along with the Bavarian Environment Agency (LfU) has embarked on a multilateral cooperative effort with the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP), aimed at reducing climate relevant F-gases with high global warming potential in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors. The main goal of a three- year project that began in 2014 is to promote alternative refrigerants, such as ammonia, CO2 and propane in the cooling sector, with a special focus on supermarkets and hotels. The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) is a partner in the project.

Alternative cooling substances have a lower impact on global warming as compared to their counterparts such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). These substances are being used in Europe in the cooling sector post the HCFC phase-out. Israel is a Party to the Montreal Protocol, which calls for a phase-out of ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 2030 and currently requires documented reductions of HCFCs and associated emissions. Following the guidelines to reduce HCFC import quotas, set by the Israeli Ministry of Economy (link) in January 2015, operators may be preparing to transition to HFC gases in the cooling sector. A better alternative would be to replace HCFCs with climate neutral substances, such as ammonia, CO2 or Propane. However, such a switch is associated with additional investment and costs. Additionally, technicians and mechanics have to be well trained for the correct handling of such substances and equipment.

The main goal of the multilateral project is to facilitate the switch (from substances that damage the ozone layer and contribute significantly to global warming) to alternative cooling substances in Israel. This shall be achieved through the exchange of experiences, with an emphasis on best-practice examples from Bavaria. A switch to alternative technologies is also in the interest of the Bavarian policy on climate protection. Bavarian companies, developing and implementing alternative cooling technologies could strengthen Bavaria’s technological leadership in this sector. The share of energy consumption from air conditioning and cooling systems in Israel is on the rise owing to high ambient temperatures. Therefore, the country has shown a keen interest in encouraging the switch from HFCs to alternative cooling substances that do not damage the ozone layer and have lower global warming potentials.

As part of this cooperation project, selected Israeli experts shall travel to Germany to participate in a two-week training course. They will learn from experts in the field how a shift to climate-friendly alternatives is possible, both from an economic and technical perspective. They will also visit companies that have already made the switch to alternative cooling technologies on field trips in Bavaria. Furthermore, two technical workshops shall be organized with the MoEP in Israel for experts from the RAC sector.
Further information about the training programs can be obtained from the Bavarian Environment Agency.

The climate programme of the German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ Proklima is the main project partner for this project and heads an international initiative on natural cooling agents called the ‘green cooling initiative’. According to an independent study undertaken by GIZ Proklima, on the effects of including the German economy in bilateral projects under the Montreal Protocol it is possible to avoid, cost- effectively, the climate damaging effects of ozone depleting substances.