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Democrats press US government to follow Europe into faster action on HFC phase-down,

A group of Democrats has written to the US environment agency the EPA urging it to start its own phase-down of HFCs rather than wait for a global decision via the Montreal Protocol

Delaware Senator Thomas Carper and Californian Representative Scott Peters, and 14 colleagues wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging her not to wait for completion of new international plans to address HFCs.

In September, the US, China, and other G20 members vowed to work under the Montreal Protocol to phase down production and use of HFCs. But the Democrats say EPA can take its own action while the global members are engaging in the inevitably long negotiations.

The letter says: “As we wait for global action, some sectors in this country and others are beginning to transition away from HFCs, influenced by regulation, voluntary programmes and a growing suite of alternatives. Not all sectors have a clear transition, but for some sectors there are clear safe alternatives to HFCs. Recognising that it may take some time to amend the Montreal Protocol and incorporate those changes into US regulations, we believe the EPA does not need to wait to implement smart policies that can help accelerate these transitions in the United States and globally.”

“We encourage you to focus your agency on HFC applications where technology sucts are already available or soon to be in the market, similar to what the European Union has done with the Mobile Air Conditioning Directive… We think that such actions would not only have significant cos-effective environmental benefits but would also strengthen the Administration’s hand in the Montreal Protocol negotiations.”

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