In Brazil, UNDP steps up CFC-elimination project
Brazil, a land of great beauty and even greater potential, is an economic engine of Latin America and the fourth most populous democracy in the world. But with this great potential comes an even greater danger, as the specter of climate change looms large on the horizon.
In 1993, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) became involved in one of the most ambitious CFC-elimination efforts in the world, an effort that has resulted in not only real environmental change but also a new, greener economy for the production and safe disposal of appliances.
After China and India, Brazil was the third largest consumer of hydro chlorofluorocarbon gas, better known as CFC. CFCs are found primarily in refrigeration and other cooling devices.
These devices can be found in virtually every home in Brazil, and yet the greenhouse gasses they emit are highly detrimental to the environment. In addition to destroying the ozone layer, one tonne of CFC can warm the atmosphere 10,000 times more than one tonne of CO2.
For the past two decades, UNDP has worked in partnership with the Government of Brazil to carry out Brazil's national strategy for CFC elimination. As part of this effort, UNDP worked with Whirlpool, Brazil's largest appliance maker, to develop and manufacture new CFC-free refrigerators.
UNDP has also helped to carry out the safe and environmentally-friendly disposal old refrigerators. Working with the Ministry of Environment, UNDP trained and equipped staff members at refrigerator dismantling shops across 26 states, providing them with the tools and knowledge needed to safely remove dangerous CFC gasses from the refrigerator compressors.
Furthermore, UNDP has helped Brazil to mobilize resources from international finance mechanisms, and it assembled a high level team of scientists, engineers and climate change experts to provide Brazil with the technical know-how needed to initiate and sustain CFC elimination efforts.