AUSTRALIA: The Federal Government of Australia has announced it is to implement an 85% phase-down of HFC refrigerants.

By making the announcement, Australia joins Europe, the USA and Japan in taking early action to reduce HFC emissions.

The phase-down will commence in January 2018 and will reduce HFC emissions by 85% by 2036. The phase-down is more ambitious than those in the current Montreal Protocol proposals for a global phase-down. It has a lower baseline, reflecting Australia’s current demand, and has more frequent reduction steps.

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The announcement was welcomed by industry groups. Dr Greg Picker, executive director of Refrigerants Australia, the body representing refrigerant suppliers and users, said, “The refrigeration and air conditioning industry actively supports a phase down of the global warming potential of refrigerants over the next two decades: this both guarantees improved environmental outcomes while also giving industry long-term certainty.”

Provisions for future bans on the import of new equipment containing high GWP HFCs will also be included along with domestic and automotive air conditioners.

Ian Stangroome, president of VASA, the body representing professional workshops and technicians in the Australasian vehicle aftermarket, commented: “There are new technologies being rolled out for automotive air-conditioning, including R1234yf and CO2, that meet these requirements.

“New procedures, however, will need to be developed by the industry to maintain safety, ensure environmental performance, and guarantee that car owners are well looked after.”