Montreal Protocol Meeting Paves Way for HFC Reduction
At the 27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Dubai, Nov. 1-5, member parties agreed to pursue an amendment to reduce the global production and consumption of HFCs. The amendment ends a five-year stalemate on HFC reduction and is expected to be completed in 2016. Member countries that are part of a working committee will focus on financing and flexibility for countries with specific needs.
HFC emissions have been a driver for the agreement, growing at approximately seven percent annually, according to the U.N. Environment Programme. This rapid growth could undermine the effects of the Montreal Protocol and allow more than 8 gigatons of CO2 emissions per year by 2050. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has reported that an HFC phasedown would avoid the equivalent of 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide and more than 0.5 degree C of warming by 2050.
In a news release, the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy (ARAP), which represents companies producing more than 95 percent of U.S. HFC production, commended the decision to proceed.
Over the past several years, member companies have pledged their support and commitment toward research and development of low GWP technologies. AHRI has operated a research program, Low-Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP), since 2011. This program aims to identify and evaluate promising alternative refrigerants for major product categories, accelerate the industry’s response to environmental challenges due to the use of high GWP refrigerants and avoid duplicating work. ARAP research reports and other resources are available on the AHRI website