California to Limit Refrigerants

April 15, 2016

Proposed rules target short-lived climate pollutants.

New restrictions on the use of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) have been proposed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in an effort to curb the projected global warming impact from use of the materials. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), commonly used in refrigeration, are among the agents identified as accounting for about 12% of GHG emissions in California.

The strategy for HFC use reduction is tied to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty created to protect the ozone layer. The CARB notes, however, that if a new global agreement for HFC reduction isn’t reached under the agreement, the state will consider developing its own plan to reduce usage. This will include the $20 million for incentives to replace HFCs with more climate-friendly options that is already earmarked in Governor Brown’s proposed budget.

Methane and black carbon (soot), utilized in aerosols and insulation, are also singled out under the proposed strategy. Dairy operations and home woodstoves are noted as key areas for the state to cut down on the use of the potent greenhouse gases.

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