Why he won the Person of the year 2018

Lara was given the award in recognition of his efforts to phase down the use of super-polluting HFC gases

shecco CEO Marc Chasserot (left) with California State Senator Ricardo Lara at ATMOsphere America

By Michael Garry

California State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), a leading advocate for reducing harmful emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in the atmosphere, was named Person of the Year 2018 by Accelerate America magazine at the ATMOsphere America conference in Long Beach, Calif., on Tuesday.

Marc Chasserot, CEO of shecco, presented Lara with the award following Lara’s keynote speech at the conference. shecco is the organizer of ATMOsphere America and the publisher of Accelerate America and this website.

Lara was given the award in recognition of his efforts to phase down the use of super-polluting HFC gases and help pave the way for natural refrigerant alternatives.

California State Senator Ricardo Lara at ATMOsphere America

“California has a global responsibility to address issues of [climate] change,” said Lara. “And we believe in science and scientists here in California and allow them into the conversation.

”The California Cooling Act allows us to use our market prowess and cap-and-trade dollars to create an incentive program so end users can switch to low-GWP technologies when it comes to refrigeration.”
– California State Senator Ricardo Lara

Senator Lara authored the Super Pollutant Reduction Act of 2016, which commits California to reducing HFCs by 40% below 2013 levels by 2030. He introduced the California Cooling Act this year to combat what he has termed the “silent assassin” of HFCs in refrigerators and air conditioners “that threaten our global climate.”

The California Cooling Act has been approved by the California state senate and now goes to the assembly. If enacted, the Act will authorize financial incentives for businesses such as supermarkets and cold-storage warehouses that are switching to climate-friendly natural refrigeration from HFCs. This addresses one of the key barriers to adoption of natural refrigerant technology, which is the higher initial cost of the system.

In his speech to a packed plenary room at the conference, Lara sought support for the California Cooling Act from members of the HVAC&R community, particularly those doing business in California. Chasserot invited stakeholders to add their signature to a letter shecco has drafted in support of the bill. Interested parties can also express their support and provide specific suggestions on the bill’s content by contacting Lara staff member Mike Peterson at mike.peterson@sen.ca.gov.

California State Senator Ricardo Lara at ATMOsphere America

“The California Cooling Act allows us to use our market prowess and cap-and-trade dollars to create an incentive program so end users can switch to low-GWP technologies when it comes to refrigeration,” said Lara. “We’re giving you a carrot to join us in this endeavor.”

He stressed that California, long an environmental leader in the U.S., “is not going back no matter what happens at the federal level.”

Originally published on Jun 13, 2018:

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