Australia announces HFC phase-down

The Federal Government of Australia recently announced that it was to implement a phase-down of HFCs. The phase-down will start in January 2018 and will reduce HFC emissions by 85% in 2036. Through this announcement, Australia joins Europe, the USA and Japan in taking early action to reduce HFC emissions. The government’s announcement states that the phase-down is even more ambitious than the amendment to the Montreal Protocol which was discussed (and finally adopted) in Kigali (Rwanda) on October 15, 2016. It has a lower baseline, reflecting Australia’s current demand, and has more frequent reduction steps. Provisions for future bans on the import of new equipment containing high-GWP HFCs will also be included along with domestic and automotive air conditioners. The new measures are expected to reduce HFC emissions by up to 80Mt CO2 equivalent in the period to 2030.

The announcement has been well received by industry bodies, including the Australian Institute of Refrigeration Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH), who said it will provide the Australian HVAC&R sector with a clear path for the future.

The Australian government will introduce legislative amendments in order to implement new measures as soon as possible.