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AHRI and UNEP agree Global Program for refrigerant supply chain networks

New Global AHRI/UNEP Program “refrigerant driving license” will help ensure safe management of refrigerants

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has completed an Exchange of Letters on July 23, at a Side Event meeting during the Montreal Protocol Open Ended Working Group meeting in Paris, France.

The agreement includes the development of a global qualification program for refrigerant supply chain networks, titled “refrigerant driving license” (RDL), aimed at ensuring the sound and safe management of refrigerants.
“Working with UNEP and developing the RDL is one very important aspect of the industry’s focus on ensuring the proper, safe, and environmentally sound management of refrigerants,” said AHRI President and CEO, Stephen Yurek.

“AHRI’s relationship with UNEP will provide an excellent platform for working with other associations and institutes, creating a global network to support the safe handling of refrigerants,” he said.
The agreement will support the accelerated global transition to new refrigerants brought on by the Montreal Protocol’s ozone layer protection targets by addressing challenges in soundly and safely managing refrigerants.

It will also complement existing programs to upgrade the skills and knowledge of field specialists as new technologies become available. 

Readers' comments (6)

  • This would be some sort of refrigerant handling certificate I assume. Oh wait, we already have that, so lets change its name and call it the 'refrigerant driving license'. That way we can reinvent the wheel once again.

    I am really at a loss to understand this. I fully accept handling of refrigerants is as important here as it should be anywhere in the world. The more uniformed the approach the better. There is a need and refrigerant handling certification globally will meet this, assuming, and this is a huge assumption, that it is implemented and policed. But what I don't understand is this constant need for different trade associations and bodies to be seen to out trump each other. AHRI are now banner waving for their excellent initiative when really it is little more than is already out there.
    This trend of trade associations and bodies competing with each other really has to stop if real progress is to be made. What we have now is a industry p**sing contest to grab glory for themselves.
    In this country we have the IMECHE preparing reports on the COld Chain, we have the IOR running a cold chain conference, and a new pseudo Birmingham Energy Commission full of pseudo commissioners claiming to be the spokes piece for the cold economy. If we can't even get it right in the UK. how do we expect the global bodies to work together?
    Why can all those global industry bodies get together and unite. The members of these associations, the rank and file engineers and chemists working in this industry and paying our subs are united in wanting a better industry and common higher standards. Why can't the leaders of these trade associations lead for a change and have a get together so that we don't keep forever, reinventing the wheel. This industry does not have the resources for endless duplication. Together we are a much stronger and respected industry

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  • Interesting comment from you again Jason. We are the same here in Aus. Even though the industry is relatively small compared to Europe or the USA , there is still competition between the trade bodies and in fighting.
    You say that the industry doesn't have the resources for endless duplication, well unfortunately it does have as it keeps on demonstrating. It seems that there is endless funding available to different factions to keep on justifying themselves. They all have supporters and vested interests, What you should have said is that the industry shouldn't waste the valuable resources. Because that is exactly what it is doing. I am as guilty of this as anyone. I belong to two trade bodies and they both do more or less the same with some slight tweaks and focus. The money, my money, would be better put to use if there were only one body. It could do a lot more.
    The global RAC industry needs to bring all the parties together to form a global RAC alliance. Sure they can keep their own identities but a platform whereby they can all speak together and co-ordinate efforts can only improve things. This shouldn't be headed by any one body, but could be chaired by different heads in rotation, a bit like the EU is run I hear.
    I worry though that if you form a completely separate body, it will just suck up more resources and create a pointless level of bureaucracy. But a global alliance might just work. Perhaps a global version of FETA but for teh RAC industry.
    What do you think?

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  • Hi David, yes you are right, perhaps I would have been better to say that our industry shouldn't waste its valuable resources on pointless duplication. That is what I meant. It appears to me at least that there is a lot of effort by the different bodies having to justify themselves, and creating endless new spin to promote their activities. I am not against promoting this industry and the good that it is doing but I find the endless thirst for funding for funding sake distasteful. As you may have noticed, certain aspect of this industry get straight up my nose in truth with its hippocracy.
    It is wishful thinking, but some sort of global industry alliance might just work. One that doesn't give power to one sole institution. A network of industry bodies with a common goal.
    What I wouldn't like to see is the creation of yet another monster that becomes that eventually has the sole aim of feeding itself. We could end up with a FIFA, and that would put us in an even worse situation than now.
    As for using FETA as a model, no, I don't think so. The more I hear about FETA the less clear I become as to its purpose and the more certain that it is pointless. But, that may just be my ignorance so lets leave that subject alone because there are many wiser people than me in this industry that see the value in it.

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  • Surely we need a 'refrigerant road map' before we have a license? This is another meaningless agreement aimed at funding another short-sighted project. Would have been far been understanding the problem first rather than offering a solution that probably isn't one.
    I like David's proposal of a global alliance for trade and professional bodies. At least then there may be some cohesion and combined information gathering and sharing rather than some just shooting from the hip as appears to be the case here.
    Thanks Jason for raising this. I probably wouldn't have even noticed this news item, and I certainly wouldn't have given it a second thought if it hadn't have been for your opening comment.

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  • Jason,
    This initiative came out of the meeting I attended in New York last January - the first "Global Supply Chain Conference" - I think you saw my blog on it at the time?
    Although this story is billing it as AHRI with UNEP, it is indeed a global alliance behind it, one of the associations I hope you'll be pleased to hear is AREA. I even gave up time during my Florioda holiday early this summer to meet the AHRI Deputy CEO to discuss how we proceed. That was followed up with a meeting with their CEO who came to London to meet me, and then the first alliance meeting as a whole which was held in Paris. Hopefully this will ease your mind a little.

    The licence itself will not replace what we have or duplicate in any way. It is aimed at the third world and developing countries where no trade associations exist, standards are limited, and we are effectively foisting onto them the use of "mildly flammable" gases - and you know my feelings on that one! Early days yet, but it is envisaged that our F Gas qualification, for example, would already qualify as the level of competence for this will have to be set lower.

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  • Jason
    The more recent story, giving due credit to Mr Fox is this one "Contractors welcome moves toward first global refrigeration competence standards"
    Same Licence,just highlighting the positive potential, as noted by Graeme above.
    There will be more from Mr Fox on this - and from AHRI - in September issue of RAC

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