Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The End is Near: HCFC Production Coming to an End

International Agreement Reached to Accelerate Phase-Out of HCFC Production

The 191 parties to the Montreal Protocol announced Sept. 22 that they came to an "historic" agreement to freeze production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 2013 and accelerate the complete phase-out of production and use by 10 years. Under the original protocol, HCFCs had been slated for full elimination by 2030 in developed countries and 2040 for developing countries. However, according to signatories, evidence was mounting about the growing use of HCFCs, as well as the potential benefits to the ozone layer and climate change of an accelerated freeze and phase-out of HCFCs.

Specifically, the agreement commits developed countries to freezing in 2013, their production of HCFCs at the average production levels in 2009-2010. Developed countries would be committed to reductions in production and consumption of HCFCs from base-year levels of 75 percent by 2010 and 90 percent by 2015, with full elimination of production and consumption by 2020. Developing countries would be required to reduce HCFC from the base-year level of 10 percent by 2015, 35 percent by 2020, and 67.5 percent by 2025, with full elimination of production and consumption by 2030. Developed countries further committed to support, at a currently unspecified amount, the continuation of the Multilateral Fund for implementation of the Montreal Protocol when it comes up for renewal in 2008. The fund is directed at assisting developing countries in implementing the protocol.

Looks like we'll be looking for new refrigerant-exchange units in the near future....

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