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UNIDO and the Montreal Protocol: a lasting contribution to the MDGs

The Organization's proven track record in the implementation of the Montreal Protocol is duly complemented by UNIDO's ability to innovate and to think "outside the box" as well as by its ability to tackle new challenges.

Through its numerous activities related to Energy and Environment, UNIDO actively contributes to MDG7 (Environmental Sustainability).

In particular, and since UNIDO first assumed its role as the fourth implementing agency of the Multilateral Fund (MLF) of the Montreal Protocol in 1992, the Organization has assisted 85 developing countries and economies in transition to comply with their obligations, thereby implementing over 600 projects and executing more than 500 non-investment activities.

As an example, the work of UNIDO has led to Iraq's ratification of the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol and all its amendments in 2008, see link to article on how Iraq is moving forward on ozone protection.

In delivering its cost-effective services to eliminate ozone depleting substances (ODS), UNIDO always emphasized a holistic approach, which allowed for the readily acceptance and the sustained adoption of new technologies and best practices by the Organization's public and private partners. UNIDO's services focused on:

Policy, strategy and programme design

  • Development of supporting institutions Support for enterprises during the compliance period, know-how transfer
  • Training on installation, safe handling of non-ODS technology
  • Generation of databases on the impact of the Montreal Protocol

For UNIDO, it was essential to maintain and/or improve its end-users' competitiveness when converting the production capacities using environmentally-friendly technologies: when companies in developing countries produce goods that comply to international environmental standards, they open new export markets, thus create new job opportunities (instead of losing jobs in cases of non-compliance).

Furthermore, and through its Montreal Protocol activities, UNIDO's contribution to the MDGs is characterized by the following:

  • Innovation - Let's go for a lasting solution!
    At a time when HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons)  were commonly used as an alternative chemical to CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), UNIDO pioneered the use of the latest non-ODS technology, namely hydrocarbon.  Indeed, UNIDO was the first agency to formulate hydrocarbon projects to manufacture domestic refrigerators (i.e. using isobutane and cyclopentane). The Organization further innovated when it took the lead in promoting liquid carbon dioxide technology in the manufacture of flexible polyurethane foam.
  • THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX - Alternative chemical? No, thank you!
    In phasing-out methyl bromide (a potent ODS), UNIDO has supported a wide range of farmers growing flowers, strawberries, tobacco seedlings and horticultural crops. With its promotion of non-chemical alternatives (such as grafting, steam pasteurization, soil solarization and soil-less cultivation), UNIDO has increased the quality of yielded products, thus contributed to the farming's sustainability.
    The 55th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Montreal Protocol approved the launch of the phase-out of HCFCs. UNIDO is well prepared as it is carrying out comprehensive surveys of the consumption of HCFCs. And, while there are many options to replace HCFCs, UNIDO will definitely choose those that protect the environment best and that optimally contribute to industrial sustainability.


In a nutshell: since 1992, UNIDO significantly contributed to the elimination of the world's overall consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS). As such, through UNIDO's assistance, 85 countries are in the best position to reach their Montreal Protocol targets by the end of the year.