The global HFC phase down – how it looks
The landmark HFC phase down agreed this weekend is expected to avoid more than 70 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent HFC emissions. In this graphic we attempt to show how it will all work.
The deal struck under the mechanism of the Montreal Protocol is complicated by the inclusion of an allowance for HCFC usage which is still under a phase-out in most countries. See Nations agree global phase down of HFCs for more details.
Included in the graphic is the European phase-down timetable under the F-gas regulations which have been in existence since 2015. As can be seen, Europe will have reduced its HFC usage by 27% before the other non-A5 countries start the process.
The F-gas final target of a 79% reduction appears to put the European timetable at odds with the final target of an 85% phase down under the three Montreal Protocol agreements. However, being that the EU phase down was based on consumption figures from 2009-2012, the final quantities are expected to comparatively very similar.
The most important observation is that both the Montreal Protocol and European figures are all based on CO2 equivalents. In practice this is designed to encourage the take-up of lower GWP refrigerants. Obviously, as the phase downs kick-in, refrigerant manufacturers will have the incentive of producing far more of the low GWP refrigerants than the higher GWP gases. This will inevitably lead to higher costs and potential scarcity of the high GWP refrigerants like R404A.
Latest news from the world of air conditioning and refrigeration
UK: A cascade refrigeration system twinning CO2 with the HFO refrigerant 1234ze has been named as Retail Energy Project of the Year in last week’s Energy Awards in London.
UK: Industrial refrigeration contractor Stonegrove Refrigeration has appointed Steve Gowing as design and project engineer.
UK: Javac UK, the refrigerant recovery and vacuum pump supplier, has been named as Climate Centers’ Supplier of the Year for the second year running.
UK: Ruskin Air Management has been renamed Swegon Air Management following its acquisition by the Swedish manufacturer Swegon.
EUROPE: The European Commission has warned that the uptake of training in alternative refrigerants is too low to match the requirements of the F-gas phase down.
SOLOMON ISLANDS: Customs authorities in the Solomon Islands have reported their second seizure of the illegal CFC refrigerant R12 this year.
IRAN: German compressor manufacturer Bitzer has established a subsidiary company in Iran.
USA: Seven local residents are reported to be suing Honeywell after a chemical leak at its Geismar, Louisiana, plant in August.