US EPA needs refrigerant gases slashed 85 p.c in 15 years

Proposed rule will drastically cut back greenhouse gasoline present in fridges and air conditioners.

The US Environmental Safety Company (EPA) on Monday proposed a rule to slash the usage of a potent greenhouse gasoline generally utilized in fridges and air conditioners by 85 p.c over the following 15 years.

The transfer to curb hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) would keep away from the equal of 900 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over that interval.

The proposal arises from a legislation handed by the US Congress in December 2020 that was tucked into an omnibus spending invoice which directed the EPA to situation rules phasing down HFC manufacturing and arrange an import schedule over the following 15 years.

The proposed rule entails “allocations” for every HFC producer and importer that make sure the US stays on the right track to satisfy the phase-out targets.

“By phasing down HFCs, which will be a whole lot to hundreds of occasions extra highly effective than carbon dioxide at warming the planet, EPA is taking a significant motion to assist preserve world temperature rise in verify,” mentioned EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

The Biden administration has set bold targets to gradual local weather change.

These embody decreasing nationwide greenhouse gasoline emissions by 50-52 p.c beneath 2005 ranges by 2030, which it introduced at its Earth Day summit final month.


US President Joe Biden delivers remarks in a digital Local weather Summit with world leaders within the East Room on the White Home on April 23, 2021 [Tom Brenner/Reuters]

The discount of HFCs doesn’t imply air con and fridges might be phased out.

Options to HFCs have been proposed, together with ammonia for air conditioners and hydrocarbon refrigerants for home fridges.

Europe has used hydrocarbon refrigerants because the mid-Nineteen Nineties, in keeping with the European Fee.

The proposal received the assist of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute commerce group.

“EPA’s motion will assist create the knowledge crucial for US firms to take care of their pure technological benefit within the world HFC market,” mentioned AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek.

A current evaluation by the Rhodium Group mentioned attaining the 15-year goal would result in an equal minimize of round 900 million tons (816 million tonnes) of carbon dioxide – the yearly emissions of practically 195 million automobiles.

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