HFC Phase-out Pressure

It is becoming increasingly likely that there will be a ban on the use of HFCs. The UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is urging parties and industries to “seize the opportunity provided by the HCFC phase-out to leapfrog HFCs wherever possible”. In light of the pressure here and the increase in pressure from the European Parliament, it is becoming increasingly likely that a phase out programme will come for HFCs and an eventual outright ban. The US, Canada and Mexico have already jointly submitted a proposal to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs, under the Montreal Protocol in May.

The refrigeration industry should be looking to design new projects and installations using natural refrigerants (CO2, ammonia and HCs) to reduce the impact once this inevitable phase out begins. The majority of existing refrigeration plant and machinery within the UK currently uses HFC and soon to be phased out HCFC refrigerants, a phase out will have a big and extremely costly impact. Questions should be raised to anybody encouraging investment in systems reliant on HFCs. A greater use of natural refrigerants should be encouraged.

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