LESSONS LEARNT UNDER ECOFRIG COLLABORATION AND
ITS RELEVANCE FOR ADDRESSING OZONE LAYER
PROTECTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Gerster Consulting, Switzerland
Ecofrig opened up an environmental-friendly option of Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) free technology
hitherto unknown in India and achieved a level playing field for Hydrocarbons (HCs) vs.
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in view of informed decisions in private industry in implementing the
Montreal Protocol. Ten key factors of success are identified, among them (1) the creation of a process
leading to ownership of the HC-technology with the Indian partners, (2) the commercial
competitiveness of the HCs, (3) the commitment of all partners at the institutional and human level.
Lessons learnt mainly address market failures, the role of the Multilateral Fund (MF) and the
growing influence of multinational companies (MNCs). Despite considerable relevance of Ecofrig for
the protection of the Ozone layer, for the slowing down of climate change and for poverty reduction,
there still is unfinished business. The conclusions presented here are based on interviews with Ecofrig
programme partners in India, Germany and Switzerland, and a self-assessment by Infras.
350 million people use refrigeration of any kind in India. In financial terms, the
refrigeration market in India has grown by 10% annually since 1992. This growth trend
on the demand side is expected to continue for the next 10 years. Liberalisation spurs
economic growth but also restructures the Indian economy. With a sharp increase of the
presence of Multinational Companies (MNCs) the supply of refrigeration appliances has
undergone deep changes in the 1990s.
As a signatory of the Montreal Protocol India is required to phase out ozone depleting
substances (ODS). In refrigeration and cooling (domestic fridges, commercial
refrigeration, car air conditioning, refrigeration in food and fishin