Image credit: Creative Commons

Image credit: Creative Commons

The Union of African Associations of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Stakeholders (U-3ARC) has called for an end to the dumping of obsolete air conditioners in Africa.

The Casablanca Declaration was signed by members of U-3ARC at its general assembly in Casablanca at the end of September. It says the countries “strongly oppose” the export by developed countries of “obsolete, unreliable and environmentally harmful equipment” to developing countries.

In a three-point plan, the declaration says the inefficient used cooling appliances compete with new efficient equipment with low GWP refrigerants, such as R32 and R290. It also calls for the introduction of the latest and best energy efficient technology, whose running costs will quickly offset the additional equipment costs. Finally, it seeks improved service to reduce leakage and avoid the future high cost of HCFCs and HFC refrigerants phased out under the Montreal Protocol.

A report published in 2020 claimed that 35% of the room air conditioners sold in many of Africa’s largest countries are low efficiency units, with almost half containing ozone-depleting R22. It said that 650 000 units that did not meet common efficiency standards above EER 3.0W/W (COP of 3) were being imported annually to African countries.

In a crackdown by the government of Ghana, nearly 60 000 used RACHP units, many illegally exported from Europe, were seized between 2013 and 2020.

U-3ARC has also expressed its support for the draft decision submitted by Ghana on behalf of Africa in 2021 to end environmental dumping in Africa. This draft decision was accepted by the 44th meeting of the Montreal Protocol OEWG in July 2022, and it will now be put before the next Montreal Protocol Meeting at the beginning of November.

Formed in 2020, U-3ARC represents all 54 African nations, which comprises more than 20 000 formal and informal businesses with nearly 150 000 employees.