USA/EUROPE: Leading manufacturers groups on both sides of the Atlantic have welcomed the Kigali amendment to phase down HFC refrigerants.

While describing the freeze dates and step-down levels as ambitious, Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of the influential US Air-conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), said of the deadlines: “The HVACR industry is confident we can meet them and continue to provide quality, innovative, energy efficient products and equipment for the benefit of the world’s citizens.”

“The agreement is just the first step in a multi-step process,” Yurek said. “Our industry is hard at work doing the research on the HFC alternatives that will be used in the world’s air conditioners, heat pumps, and refrigeration equipment, and getting that right is certainly as important as reaching agreement. Also very important are the education and training initiatives that will have to occur to ensure safe, efficient installation of the equipment that will contain these new refrigerants,” he added.

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Hailing the amendment as “a long-awaited breakthrough”, Andrea Voigt of the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) said: “Now we have to make it happen, and ensure that energy efficiency is taken into consideration. This is because the transition towards lower global warming potential refrigerants needs to go hand in hand with high energy efficiency if we are serious about reducing overall CO2 emissions.”

EPEE is now hoping that its experience in addressing the challenges of the European phase down can help other nations. Through its EU Gapometer, EPEE has worked to identify the main challenges to achieve the European phase down goals and the concrete actions needed to tackle those challenges.

“We now hope that our work at EU level through our Gapometer helps to inspire other regions in the world as they seek to implement the Kigali deal and make the commitments a success,” Andrea Voigt added.

Related stories:

Nations agree global phase down of HFCs

The global HFC phase down – how it looks