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Australia passes HFC phase down law

AUSTRALIA: The Australian government has successfully passed legislation to phase-down HFCs beginning next year and reaching an 85% reduction by 2036.

The phase-down of HFC imports under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Amendment Bill 2017, passed yesterday, is in advance of the global phase down agreed in Kigali last year. 

Backing the move, Dr Greg Picker, executive director of refrigerant suppliers and users group Refrigerants Australia, said the legislation would guarantee improved environmental outcomes, while also giving industry long-term certainty.

“Refrigerants Australia has long contended that a predictable phase down in HFCs can assist the industry and deliver a range of benefits including reduced costs to consumers, better performance of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, improved energy efficiency and significant emission reductions,” Picker said.

The scheme will commence on 1 January 2018 with a 25% reduction of Australia’s allowed baseline under the Kigali amendment. The Australian regulation avoids sharp reductions by having reduction steps every two years.

The move was also welcomed by manufacturers’ group AREMA. The association’s president Mark Padwick said the legislation provided industry with the long-term certainty necessary to invest in new technologies.

“Manufacturers must contend with a range of issues when they select which refrigerant to use,” Padwick said. “They need to consider safety for the consumer, energy efficiency, cost, suitability and environmental impacts.”

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