The EIA Campaign group has said that expansion of state’s efforts to curb stores of higher GWP products through reclamation and destruction can reverse a lack of national leadership on issue
Authorities in the US should consider following California’s lead in tackling emissions of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) and HFCs to ensure national climate change commitments can be met, according to a new report.
Findings from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) campaign group into the environmental challenge of curbing F-Gas emissions in the US also backs expanding the remit of existing California state regulations to include large stationary air conditioning systems.
The ’Search, Reuse and Destroy – How states can take a lead on a 100 billion tonne climate problem’ report outlines a need to mitigate what it the EIA calls ‘F-Gas banks’. The term is used to represent the overall quantity of fluorinated gasses that have already or will be produced.
Reducing the size of these refrigerant banks through reclamation projects and errorts to limit leakage rates is put forward as the most significant near-term strategy for the US to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere, according to the EIA.
The report concluded that California’s existing Risk Management Plan (RMP) regulation can serve as a consistent means for other US states to overcome what it called a reversal of federal refrigerant management during the administration of President Donald Trump.
A need for policymakers to directly address end-of-life emissions, such as through new projects to scale up recovery, reclamation and destruction of higher GWP refrigerant, was among the main calls in the findings.
The EIA added, “Maintaining and accelerating emission reductions of ODS and HFCs is absolutely essential to ensuring that we remain on a pathway to limit global warming below 1.5 deg C. States must lead on implementing policies and programs in the US to reduce the future rate of emissions from the refrigerant bank, both from leakage and at end of life, which represent the single largest opportunity for climate mitigation.”
Other recommendations in the report include following a similar model to California with the creation of registry and reporting requirements for HVAC systems, wholesales and gas distributors to document refrigerant sales, leakages and stockpile sizes.
New technician certification should also be released for handling HFC products with regard to recovery and compliance, added the EIA.
A ban on using non-refillable cylinders for the recovery, transport and distribution of higher GWP refrigerants was also backed in the findings.
State authorities are also urged to create inventories that can determine the size of ODS and HFC refrigerant banks along with a sectoral breakdown of use in the report. This would again follow the example of state regulations in California, as well as other enforcement initiatives from around the world to try and curb greenhouse gas emissions through cooling.