HFC reduction seen as key green trend

GreenBiz and S&P Global say in new report that cutting HFCs and other SLCPs is a top sustainable business trend for 2019.

By Charlotte McLaughlin

U.S. online publication GreenBiz Group and the U.S. financial firm S&P Global on February 5 published the 12th annual “State of Green Business” report, which cited cutting super pollutants such as HFCs as one of the top sustainable business trends for 2019.

“Various actors are prioritizing accelerated replacement of HFCs, a refrigerant commonly used in air conditioners and commercial building chillers,” the report states in a chapter called “Super Pollutants Become Super Important.” In addition to HFCs, super pollutants — also called short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) — include methane and black carbon.

A big reason for the action on HFCs, the report notes, is the global phase down of the high-GWP gases under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which took effect this year on 1 January. The amendment calls for a 10% reduction in 2019 from the baseline level (the consumption of HFCs and HCFCs from 2011 to 2013) for developed countries like Australia, Canada and European Union countries.

The U.S. has not ratified the Kigali Amendment. But at the state level, “Maryland, Connecticut and New York vowed last fall to phase out HFCs, and California previously declared its intention to do so — its rule took effect in January,“ the reports says.

The report also notes the that U.S. Climate Alliance (a coalition of 20 governors) aims to reduce emissions from super pollutants like HFCs by up to 50% by 2030.

The Alliance in 2018 said strategies to reduce HFC emissions “promote more energy efficient systems that lower costs for businesses and households, support the leadership of U.S. businesses developing alternatives to HFCs, and increase the need for skilled technicians and system designers.”

Originally published on Feb 07, 2019:

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