U.S. EPA proposes rule to phase down HFCs by 85% over 15 years

By Valerie Volcovici

© Reuters/Brandon bell
FILE PHOTO: Michael Regan testifies before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday proposed a rule to slash the use of a potent greenhouse gas commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners by 85% over the next 15 years.


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The move to curb hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) would avoid the equivalent of 900 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over that period.

The proposal arises from a law passed by Congress in December 2020 that was tucked into an omnibus spending bill which directed the EPA to issue regulations phasing down HFC production and set up an import schedule over the next 15 years.

The proposed rule entails “allocations” for each HFC producer and importer that ensure the United States stays on course to meet the phase-out targets.

“By phasing down HFCs, which can be hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the planet, EPA is taking a major action to help keep global temperature rise in check,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

The EPA said the move would be an “important step” toward achieving the Biden adminsitration’s broader goal to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030, which it announced at its Earth Day summit last month.

The proposal won the support of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute trade group.

“EPA’s action will help create the certainty necessary for U.S. companies to maintain their natural technological advantage in the global HFC marketplace,” said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek.

A recent analysis by the Rhodium Group said achieving the 15-year target would bring about an equivalent cut of around 900 million tons of carbon dioxide – the yearly emissions of nearly 195 million cars.

(Reporting by Valerie VolcoviciEditing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: Thanks msn.com