West Asia Network Meeting: Advancing Ozone Protection and Sustainable Cooling

Date: 25 May 2024
West Asia Network Meeting: Advancing Ozone Protection and Sustainable Cooling
The UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) team in West Asia hosted its 2024 Network Meeting for National Ozone Officers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on April 24-25, 2024. The event brought together representatives from National Ozone Units across West Asia, alongside key regional and international partners, and experts.

The meeting, attended by 31 participants, including 13 females and 18 males, followed the benchmarking joint thematic meeting for National Ozone Officers from West Asia and High Ambient Temperature (HAT)/Group 2 countries in South Asia, highlighting a concerted effort across regions to address ozone protection and sustainable cooling challenges.

At the forefront of discussions were the impending deadlines for total hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) phase-out targets by 2030, alongside ongoing commitments under the Kigali Amendment. The meeting delved into best practices and considerations for developing hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) phase-out plans, aligning with the Multilateral Fund's criteria. It also reviewed the CAP West Asia Strategy (2024-2026) and related proposed work plans, which are tailored to meet regional needs and ensure compliance with Montreal Protocol goals.

Seven working sessions facilitated in-depth discussions, including national presentations showcasing West Asia countries' progress in meeting Montreal Protocol commitments and preparing for Kigali Amendment implementation. Participants shared insights on implementing recommendations from previous meetings, fostering joint action at the national level, and transitioning to ozone-friendly alternatives.

A highlight of the meeting was the recognition of certified technicians from the first training and certification programme for refrigeration and air conditioning technicians in the UAE. Eleven HVACR engineers and technicians were trained and certified on the correct handling and treatment of HVACR equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gases during the three-day course.

This initiative, a collaboration between the Galileo Centre, and Eurovent Middle East Association through the association’s HVACR Leadership Academy in Dubai, is dedicated to all professionals to learn the best practices to install and perform servicing activities such as maintenance, repair, recovery, leakage checking as well as dismantling RAC systems containing F-Gases and underscores the commitment to building local capacity for sustainable cooling practices.

The 2024 main network meeting not only reaffirmed regional commitments but also set a course for collective action, underscoring UNEP's role in fostering environmental stewardship and global cooperation.

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