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The Australian Government has passed legislation to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which comprise up to two per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

HFCs are powerful synthetic gases used in air conditioners, refrigerators, fire extinguishers and insulating foam which can be thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. Emissions of refrigerants occur primarily from leaky equipment.

The phase-down of HFC imports under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Amendment Bill 2017 will begin in 2018 and reach an 85 per cent reduction by 2036.

Refrigerants Australia has congratulated the Australian Parliament on the passage of legislation.

Dr Greg Picker, Executive Director of Refrigerants Australia said, “The passage of amendments to the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act guarantees improved environmental outcomes, while also giving industry long-term certainty.”

Refrigerants Australia has long contended that a predictable phase down in HFCs can assist the industry and deliver a range of benefits, including reduced costs to consumers, better performance of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, improved energy efficiency and significant emission reductions.

“Putting in place a phase down of HFCs is predicted to reduce emissions by the equivalent of 80 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030 and builds on the tremendous results in reducing ozone depletion that has already been achieved,” Dr Picker said.

The refrigeration and air conditioning industry has a thirty-year history of working collaboratively on a bipartisan basis to deliver improved environmental performance.

“As a result of working together with governments of all types, we are on track to both close the ozone hole over the next 30 years and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from their peak in the early 1990s by 99 per cent in 2036.”

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