HFC phasedown passes parliament
The Federal Government has successfully passed legislation to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which comprise up to 2% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
HFCs are powerful synthetic gases used in refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers and insulating foam which can be thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide.
The phase-down of HFC imports under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Amendment Bill 2017 will begin in 2018 and reach an 85% reduction by 2036 based on a global agreement to the Montreal Protocol to phase-down these potent gases.
It is estimated that the global phase-down will reduce emissions by up to 72 billion tonnes by 2050 or roughly one and a third times global annual emissions.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, this action could avoid up to 0.5° of temperature rises by 2100.
This phase-down builds on the successful approach taken to phase-out prior gases such as CFCs and HCFCs which is already leading to a recovery of the ozone layer.
Australia has a proud record of leadership in the Montreal Protocol, widely considered the world’s most successful environmental protection agreement and the only one with universal acceptance.
“The passage of amendments to the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act guarantees improved environmental outcomes, while also giving industry long-term certainty,” says Refrigerants Australia executive director Dr Greg Picker.
“As a result of working together with Governments of all types we are on track to close the ozone hole over the next 30 years and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from their peak in the early 1990s by 99% in 2036.”