Uploaded on Dec 4, 2009
MaximsNewsNetwork: 05 December 2009 - UNDP: Brazil is dealing with another climate change issue often ignored - CFC gasses. In the past, the gasses were thought to only harm the ozone, but scientists believe that they are much more harmful to the atmosphere then CO2.
SOUNDBITE (English)Yannick Glemarec, Director, Environment Finance, UNDP:
When you speak about climate change, how much time is left? UNDP believes we must cut emissions by 50 percent by 2050.
In 1992, UNDP became involved in one of the most ambitious chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) elimination efforts in the world. After China, Brazil is the second largest consumer of hydro chlorofluorocarbon gas, better known as CFC. CFCs are found primarily in refrigeration and other cooling devices, and virtually all homes in Brazil have one.
But CFCs are deadly to the environment. One ton of CFC has the potential to warm the atmosphere 10,000 times more than one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2).
SOUNDBITE (English) Yannick Glemarec, Director, Environment Finance, UNDP:
Refrigerants contained in these fridges have a huge global warming potential. In addition to the ozone destruction potential they have a huge, huge global warming potential. If you take all the refrigerants contained in all the domestic appliances if you take all this ODS (ozone depleting substances) is about 18 giga ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, this three to four times the Kyoto protocol so you have a huge, huge time bomb there.
Brazil, along with 195 other countries, signed on to the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which called for the total elimination of all CFCs. New laws in Brazil prohibited the manufacturing and import of CFC gasses and only allowed for industry to use existing CFCs. Whirlpool, like other appliance companies, had to adapt to the new reality.
UNDP worked with Whirlpool, Brazils largest appliance maker, in developing and manufacturing new appliances.
But this was only the beginning of the solution. Brazils millions of poor cannot afford a new refrigerator.
And yet it is the poor who benefit the most from energy efficient CFC-free refrigeration. On average, a new refrigerator will cut their energy bills down by as much as twenty percent.
In 2000, Brazil passed a law requiring power distributors to increase energy efficiency in poor households. UNDP, working with the private sector, connected these power companies to manufacturers of new, CFC-free refrigerators. One of these power companies, AMPLA, quickly realized these new refrigerators were not only good for the environment but would ensure that low income customers would be able to pay their bills on time .
Indiai (Indjai) lives in a small house with her family of five in a poor neighborhood in the city of Sao Goncal. She is one of thousands of low income recipients of new refrigerators distributed by AMPLA through this program.
SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) Antônio Afonso Gomes, Ampla employee:
We would rather not send our team out every month to cut off the familys energy supply. We prefer that the family consume less, but pays their energy bill on time.
Indiais old refrigerator is just beginning its long journey. Its disposal is no simple matter since the trapped CFCs will eventually leak into the atmosphere if they are simply discarded in a landfill.
UNDP, working with the Government, supplies reclamation shops like this one with special recovery olkits and the training needed to safely extract the CFC from the refrigerators compressor.
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