21256304_lBELGIUM: The refrigerant manufacturers have backed amendments tabled by the USA, Canada and Mexico to cap and phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol.

The European Fluorocarbons Technical Committee (EFCTC), which represents the main HFC producers, has said that the proposal for a cap and reduction of HFC consumption on a GWP-weighted basis “forms a good initial framework for a dialogue” but added that any final agreement needs to be “realistic, balanced, flexible and fair, meeting the needs of Parties, and taking into account industrial planning timescales and the capacity of industry to invest in new lower GWP products and applications.”

The proposal by the USA, Canada and Mexico is the latest attempt to bring the worldwide phase-down of HFCs within the Montreal Protocol mechanism and comes with the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol due to meet in Paris in July.

The refrigerant producers say that they believe that including provisions of controlling the placing on the market of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol would complement and strengthen the HFC emissions provisions of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol and goes further to call for the addition of legally binding reduction targets for developing countries

In a statement the EFCTC says: “We consider that any final agreement should focus on consumption, which determines use leading to reduced emissions. On this basis, legislative control of production is not necessary as the consumption cap will maintain the required high level of environmental ambition. Furthermore, there should also be a requirement for production reporting from 2015. We recommend that the OEWG considers if it is appropriate to amend the proposal in such a way that developing nations commit to take on legally binding reduction targets by 2020 based upon the experiences gained during the transition to low GWP technologies.”