Sustainable Technologies for Air-Conditioning Workshop

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

The Sustainable Technologies for Air Conditioning Workshop builds on a series of workshops providing information on advances in alternatives for different fields of application where hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) use is growing. Held on the margins of the 29th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (November 20–24, 2017), this workshop aims to familiarize participants with innovative, alternative air conditioning (AC) technologies which have proven their applicability and show that phasing down high-GWP HFCs is manageable. International experts from developed and developing countries will address low-emissions AC applications along with related safety, high ambient temperature, operation performance, energy efficiency and technology transfer issues. In addition, policies and standards associated with introducing and using these refrigerants and technologies in both developing and developed countries will be discussed.

The conference will be conducted in English (interpretation will not be available).

Who should attend

The workshop will give insights into the latest developments of AC technology and appliances operating with low-GWP refrigerants and corresponding issues as described in the paragraph above. Target audience members include National Ozone and Climate Protection Officers, other government representatives, and representatives from international organizations, industry, and environmental organizations.

Support for Article 5 (Developing Countries): Some funding may be available to support additional DSA of delegates from Article 5 or developing countries attending MOP-29. For more information, please contact the organizers.


Over 100 million room air conditioners, such as mini-split, multi-split and single packaged units, were sold worldwide in 2015. Air conditioning is, along with refrigeration, the largest field of application for ozone-depleting substances (ODS). Many innovative companies from around the world are currently developing and deploying alternative refrigerants to hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and high-GWP HFCs, and also new AC equipment that reduces climate impacts while still protecting the ozone layer. Over the past decades, HFC use has been increasing, in part because HFCs are widely used as replacements for ODS, which are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, and also because rising demand for comfort cooling and increasing private income in countries around the world has led to a steady growth in AC use. In October 2016, parties to the Montreal Protocol negotiated an amendment to globally phase down HFCs. Hence, there is a need to introduce environmentally-sound solutions which enable parties to comply with any phase-down obligations agreed to and also allow for meeting the globally increasing AC demand.

​Currently, in stationary AC, R-410A with a global warming potential (GWP) of 2,088[1] is most widely used especially in split units, replacing the ozone-depleting substance HCFC R-22. Chillers which are applied for higher cooling demands mainly use R-410A and R-134a (GWP=1,430). Whereas several chiller products using both non-fluorinated “natural” and fluorinated refrigerants with negligible GWP are available, split units are offered with only a few alternative substances. Across the stationary AC subsector, many alternative substances are flammable, so safety issues play a significant role in their application.

​Mobile AC is also a major sector of HFC use globally. The transition away from R‑134a, which has been commonly used as a refrigerant in vehicles since the 1990s, to low-GWP alternatives in new vehicles is already well underway in developed countries. A key consideration of this sector is maintaining and enhancing energy efficiency of air conditioning systems when transitioning from HFCs to lower-GWP alternatives because the major share of greenhouse gas emissions caused by such systems is energy-consumption related.