The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy announced support for policies and actions with a goal to reduce global hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) -greenhouse gas- emissions by 80 percent by 2050. “As technology companies, we firmly believe with the right global policies and incentives we can develop and deploy solutions that are both environmentally and economically effective to prevent ozone depletion and global warming emissions,” said Robert Wilkins, of Danfoss and Alliance Chairman.
The announcement was made during an industry leadership roundtable coinciding with International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The event convened representatives from system manufacturers, end users, and fluorocarbon producers in a roundtable briefing of Obama Administration officials. The discussion focused on industry support for a phasedown of greenhouse gas through an amendment to the global Montreal Protocol and technology development and investment commitments from key industry leaders. The Alliance stated that it believes a global approach under the Montreal Protocol, the 1987 treaty adopted to address depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer, provides the best forum with established institutions to deal with the technical complexities of reducing global emissions of greenhouse gas while maintaining the phase-out of ozone depleting substances such as HCFCs.
The Alliance advocated a goal of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 to be achieved through a Montreal Protocol amendment, highlighted American industry efforts to develop the technologies to realize those reductions and emphasized the need for greater initiatives from the public and private sectors to encourage proper refrigerant management. HFCs were introduced in order to achieve a rapid phase out of ozone depleting substances and are used widely in air conditioners, refrigerators, foam insulation, technical aerosols, fire protection systems and other critical uses.
The demand for these technologies continues to grow due to expansion of developing country economies and the added health, safety, comfort and productivity benefits these technologies provide. Alliance member companies, which represent more than 95 percent of US HFC production and a significant majority of the manufacturing and other user industries, are committing billions of dollars in research and development and commercialization of new technologies, while also continuing to improve energy efficiency performance. Additionally, the Alliance pledged to work cooperatively with the US EPA and others around the world by sponsoring ongoing technology workshops and initiating efforts to reduce emissions due to leaks and servicing.
Earlier this year, the Alliance petitioned the US EPA to expand its regulations governing emissions of ozone depleting substances to also cover HFCs. “We are technology companies whose products provide comfort, health, food safety and increased productivity. While HFCs have allowed us to eliminate ozone depleting substances, we recognize there is concern if their use were to grow unabated around the globe. We believe an amended Montreal Protocol can most effectively promote the availability of low-GWP replacement compounds and technologies,” added Wilkins.
The Montreal Protocol treaty was first signed on September 16, 1987, and is considered to be one of the most-effective multi-lateral environment treaties ever negotiated. It is the only treaty in the United Nations system to which every country is a signatory. The Protocol’s success has been a result of its reliance on sound scientific reviews, ongoing technology assessments and a funding mechanism to assistdeveloping countries. A hallmark of the treaty is the decades-long cooperation among governments, industry and the environment community.