The countryside around Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, is blossoming – quite literally. It is full of roses, carnations, tulips, orchids and many other cut flowers. The region is something akin to the country’s flower garden and is a key sector of Colombia’s economy. The majority of this colourful cornucopia of blooms is exported, predominately to the United States. Each year over 200,000 tonnes of flowers are dispatched from the Andean country, a figure only surpassed by the Netherlands.
But extensive refrigeration systems are needed to keep these perishable goods fresh. Many of these systems have a negative impact on the environment and atmosphere because they often use gases that are harmful to the ozone layer and the climate. Natural alternatives such as propane or ammonia could be used instead. To promote the use of these environmentally sound and energy-efficient coolants, GIZ – in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – is supporting five selected flower farms in Colombia in making the switch. Four of the farms are in the region around Bogotá and one is in the north-west of the country. GIZ also runs training courses for refrigeration engineers. In addition, it advises the Colombian Government on meeting its international commitments to protect the ozone layer and mitigate climate change.
Supporting climate-friendly cutting-edge technologies
Although it is not immediately obvious, the cooling sector is actually responsible for a large percentage of harmful greenhouse gases worldwide. Refrigerators, cooling systems and air conditioning have a similarly major impact on the ozone layer and the climate as the global transport sector. And it is growing rapidly as the economic output of many emerging economies and developing countries grows and living standards rise. In conjunction with two UN organisations – UNDP and UNIDO – GIZ is therefore working on behalf of BMZ, with cofinancing from the EU, to support the Sustainable and climate-friendly Phase-out of Ozone Depleting Substances (SPODS) programme in seven countries. The flower-farming measure in Colombia is an example of one of the programme’s projects.
Even before the pandemic, SPODS aimed to gradually replace damaging coolants with environmentally sound options, raise awareness about this issue in the countries involved, and offer examples of good practice. The Latin American economy has suffered hugely during the coronavirus crisis. Climate-friendly cutting-edge technologies now provide an excellent opportunity to kick-start a green recovery, including in the cooling sector and flower industry. The training courses on environmentally sound and energy-efficient coolants are also improving job opportunities for refrigeration engineers and are helping to make the industry greener. Green recovery is what everyone is talking about – especially since tackling climate change and protecting the environment have now become that bit ‘cooler’.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the 2030 Agenda provide the framework for our activities around the world. Click on a goal to find out which projects in this report are helping to achieve it.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
The 2030 Agenda and its 17 goals are important benchmarks for GIZ.