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MAKING USE OF NATURAL REFRIGERANTS TO PHASE DOWN OF CLIMATE-DAMAGING REFRIGERANTS (HFCs)

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the synthetic gases commonly used in cooling and refrigeration, are a rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming. To address this, natural refrigerants like carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and ammonia offer sustainable alternatives with zero or minimal global warming potential.

In September 2019, Vietnam ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, committing to phasing down HFCs by 80% by 2045, starting in 2024. To support Viet Nam in this transition of promoting the use of natural refrigerants and energy efficiency, the Green Cooling Initiative (GCI) project, financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) has implemented different interventions centered around three main areas: policy advise, technology transfer and capacity building.

As part of its capacity-building activities, the project recently organized a series of hands-on training courses on Green Cooling Approach and Safe Use of Natural Refrigerants. With the focus on developing practical skills for the safe handling of natural refrigerants, particularly R290 in refrigeration appliances, the programmes were to provide skill-based practices to trainees, improving both their technical and tactical skills. Besides knowledge sharing session about international and national management policies on phasing out ozone-depleting substances, technical practices on four main skills such as: (i) Tool Proficiency, (ii) Pipeline Operator, (iii) Substance Recovery and (iv) Weldless pipe connection technique were well developed to properly perform diverse specific tasks and tools.

Students are using the refrigerant recovery machine in the practical session ©HCEET

From October 2023 to March 2024, four practical training courses were conducted at the Hanoi College of Electronics and Electro-refrigeratory Technics (HCEET) and the Hanoi Industrial Vocational College. Each course enrolled 15 students, including vocational trainers, trainees, and practitioners in the cooling sector. The training aimed to provide professionals with the opportunity to enhance their expertise in green cooling technologies. Given the inevitable trend towards green transformation, there has been a significant demand for skilled workforce in sustainability practices, particularly in urban areas.

The training received positive feedback and high ratings from all participants. The program covered key areas such as environmental issues, standards, and safety measures for the use of hydrocarbons, leak detection, and the application of propane (R290) as a refrigerant, aligning well with their expectations and career aspirations. Many recommendations for expanding similar training programs to other vocational colleges and universities were made by both trainees and trainers.

“As the planet continues to warm, refrigeration equipment plays a crucial role across various sectors. Consequently, safety has become more critical than ever. Governmental agencies such as MONRE anticipate close and intensive collaboration with our international partners and vocational colleges to offer more training courses in the near future. This will undoubtedly contribute to meeting the demands of the future market,” shared Ms. Nguyen Dang Thu Cuc, National Ozone Office Coordinator at the Department of Climate Change, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Closing ceremony at Hanoi College of Electronics and Electro-refrigeratory Technics (HCEET) ©HCEET

Furthermore, the cooling sector has traditionally been perceived as male-dominated. To promote greater participation of women in this field, the organizers of the training are keen to tailor vocational programs to better accommodate female participants. The inclusion of female professionals in the Training of Trainers (ToT) course held in March was widely acknowledged and valued. Moving forward, the GCI 3 project aims to actively promote gender mainstreaming across all its interventions and activities.

Students of the Training to Trainers programme in March 2024 ©GIZ

If you want to know more about the project, please visit: Green Cooling Initiative III | Internationale Klimaschutzinitiative (IKI) (international-climate-initiative.com)

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In charge of this newsletter:
Daniel Herrmann, IKI.vietnam@giz.de
IKI Interface Vietnam
GIZ Office Vietnam
Project “Support to Vietnam for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement II” (VN-SIPA II)

Editor: Tran Xuan Quynh

Photo Credits:
tuoitre, pixabay

The IKI Vietnam Newsletter is administered by the IKI interface in Vietnam hosted by GIZ. It informs regularly about news of climate change and biodiversity projects in Vietnam financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is an important part of the German government’s international climate finance commitment. Since 2022 the IKI is implemented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in close cooperation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA).

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