HFC phase-down: 'Huge business opportunity' for natrefs

The conference, taking place from 21-24 August at Heriot-Watt University on the edge of the Scottish capital, brings together HVAC&R industry experts, academics, students and other interested parties to discuss the latest technological and policy developments driving wider uptake of natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons, CO2 and ammonia worldwide.

“It looks like this is the year for locking down an international agreement to phase down HFCs,” said Alexander Von Bismarck of the Environmental Investigation Agency, who expressed hope that a global deal would be in place by the end of 2016.

Earlier this summer, representatives of close to 200 countries met in Vienna to discuss amending the Montreal Protocol to address growing emissions of HFCs in developed and developing countries (hydrocarbons21.com; 25/07/16). Confidence was high that the nations will adopt a deal on phasing down HFCs globally at the next Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda in October.

Adopting an agreement would just be the first step, however, “So much depends on the implementation of the phase-down and the speed at which replacements for HFCs penetrate the market,” Von Bismarck warned.

With the prospects for an HFC phase-down deal in Kigali looking good, it is imperative for natural refrigerants to step in as market-ready alternatives. “The replacement of HFCs is a huge business opportunity,” said Carole Bond of Carbon Data Resources, a UK-based environmental consultancy.

“We need to understand the inherent connections between our industry and the world outside,” said Bond. Only by interacting with one another can stakeholders deliver the dramatic change required to transition away from HFCs, she argued …

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