BANGKOK, August 31, 2020 – Thailand signed a US$5 million grant agreement with the World Bank today in support of reducing the import and use of ozone-depleting chemicals by 2023 by more than 60 percent, as part of the country’s obligations under the Montreal Protocol.
Thailand is one of the world’s ten largest importers and consumers of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). In 2012, the year before the Montreal Protocol phase-out obligations began, it imported more than 18,000 metric tons. One of the priorities of the government is to introduce environment-friendly production practices in Thailand's industry, in line with the Montreal Protocol’s goal of shifting away from the use of and manufacturing with these harmful substances.
The grant from the World Bank’s Ozone Projects Trust Fund, financed by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, is supporting the second phase of the Thailand HCFC Phase-out Project 2020 to 2023.
“The successful first phase already helped Thailand’s air conditioning manufacturing sector to end the use of HCFCs,” said Viraj Vithoontien, World Bank Lead Environment Specialist, “The second phase will focus assistance on small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in order to produce HCFC-free foam insulation.”
The project will also help refrigeration and air-conditioning technicians maintain and install ozone- and climate-friendly cooling appliances and equipment, in line with good international practice, and support skills training for government agencies. These activities will indirectly improve energy efficiency in cooling applications, which will contribute to reduced emissions and decreased peak demand for electricity. Consumers will benefit from lower electricity cost. In addition, the project aims to continue to raise consumers’ awareness about energy efficiency.
Underpinning the HCFC Phase-out Project is an enduring World Bank partnership with Thailand’s government and private sector. Since 1994, the partnership has provided more than $64 million in grant funding to help industries reduce ozone-depleting substances used in refrigeration, air-conditioning, foam manufacturing, aerosol production, and fire suppression. The World Bank has worked closely with Thailand’s private sector to facilitate transfer of new ozone- and climate-friendly technologies and has provided policy and technical advice to government agencies to create the enabling environment for the shift to these new technologies.
“Thailand’s success in reducing HCFCs is a testament to its commitment to embrace green industry and effectively address climate change,” said Birgit Hansl, World Bank Country Manager for Thailand, “Through our strong partnership, Thailand has made great strides to phase out ozone-depleting substances, avoiding emissions of the equivalent of 38 million tons of carbon dioxide, analogous to taking 8 million passenger cars off the road or shutting down ten coal-fired power plants.”