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Biden Administration's Environmental Protection Agency to Limit Climate-warming Gases Used in Refrigeration
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-roo ... mmitments/
(White House) Today, the Biden Administration is announcing a set of historic actions to phase down super-polluting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), bolster the competitiveness of American industries, and maintain and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying, union jobs across the country. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will release a new rule, alongside other interagency actions, that together represent one of the most impactful federal efforts to reduce climate pollution in decades. HFCs are potent greenhouse gases found in a range of appliances and substances, including refrigerators, air conditioners and foams. These harmful pollutants have an impact on warming our climate that is hundreds to thousands of times greater than the same amount of carbon dioxide. HFCs are exacerbating climate change and extreme weather events – and the corresponding public health threats, physical damage, and economic costs.
Today’s actions build on a foundation of widespread support from Democrats and Republicans, industry leaders, and environmental organizations, all of whom supported the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act passed last year. These steps are expected to result in reductions of more than 4.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent by 2050 — equal to nearly three years of U.S. power sector emissions at 2019 levels — making today’s announcement one of the most consequential climate actions taken by the federal government in years. Today’s actions will make the U.S. domestic approach consistent with key provisions contained in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to reduce the consumption and production of HFCs. That amendment, if implemented worldwide, can prevent up to one half a degree Celsius of warming this century.
As directed in the AIM Act, the final rule from EPA will establish a landmark climate protection program that will phase down the production and consumption of HFCs by 85% below baseline levels within the next 15 years. The United States is already a leader in innovation and manufacturing of HFC alternatives, and today’s actions will ensure that American industries remain competitive in this expanding global market. EPA’s rule establishes an allowance allocation and trading program to reduce HFCs, and creates a robust compliance and enforcement system. In addition, EPA is committing to addressing the use of HFCs in products, and is currently reviewing more than a dozen petitions to restrict HFC use in a wide range of applications. Together, these actions will ensure that American communities and workers reap the climate and economic benefits of the phasedown of HFCs. EPA estimates the cumulative benefits of today’s rule — more than $272 billion through 2050 — will benefit populations that may be especially vulnerable to damages from climate change, and will result in significant compliance savings for industry.
Reflecting President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to tackling the climate crisis, six agencies are today taking several steps to build on this progress. Together, the new commitments will support U.S. industries and workers and protect communities from climate pollution and other impacts.
The Administration is taking coordinated steps across the federal government to catalyze reductions in HFCs, through four main action areas:
Preventing illegal trade, production, use, and sale of climate-damaging HFCs by leveraging collaboration across the federal government, and preparing for enforcement actions to deter and punish violations of the law.
Supporting the development of HFC alternatives in partnership with other federal departments and agencies, the private and public sector, states, and other key stakeholders.
Managing HFC stocks to promote use of recovered HFCs from retired equipment to offset the need for newly manufactured HFCs, and leveraging the federal government’s purchasing power to support use of alternatives and reclaimed HFCs for federal facilities, equipment, and fleets.
Advancing research and testing to identify HFC alternatives and technologies.