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European support for HFC reduction

The European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC), part of the European Chemical Industry Association, has given its support for a global cap and reduction of HFC consumption on a GWP-weighted basis.

It recognises the role played by the Montreal Protocol in successfully controlling consumption of CFCs and HCFCs and says this could provide the necessary expertise to implement a similar system for HFCs.

HFCs are estimated to represent less than 2 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

While HFCs are the preferred solution for many, without action the demand will grow due to the replacement of HCFCs and growing demand for refrigeration and air-conditioning, says the EFCTC.

Progress is being made by HFC producers to find low-GWP alternatives, it adds, with an alternative fluid already developed for mobile air-conditioning.

The EFCTC says a clear, long-term regulatory framework is needed for research and development to progress at the necessary speed, and for manufacturers to undertake the necessary programmes to adopt these and other lower-GWP alternatives.

“Any final agreement should focus on consumption, which determines use leading to reduced emissions,” says the EFCTC.

“On this basis, legislative control of production is not necessary as the consumption cap will maintain the required high level of environmental ambition.”

AREA president Graeme Fox said: “This should not be taken  as read that suitable alternatives already exist for the entire SRAC market.

“Indeed, even the mention of the low-GWP alternative for mobile AC makes no mention of the genuine safety concerns that contractors will have with using these gases.”