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ASHRAE commends the governments involved in the adoption of the HFC amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which will result in a global phase down of production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The agreement was signed earlier this week.
The move comes as ASHRAE and leading U.S. government agencies, built environment associations and companies launch a multi-million dollar research program that will establish a more robust fact base about the properties and the use of flammable refrigerants.
The research is part of a $5.8 million program funded by ASHRAE, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and Johnson Controls. This program is part of an ongoing global effort to phase down the use of high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants and identify appropriate climate-friendly alternatives.
“Flammable refrigerants hold great promise for reducing the use of HFCs in refrigerants and thereby lowering the environmental impact of air-conditioning and refrigeration systems,” ASHRAE President Tim Wentz, said. “ASHRAE applauds the Kigali Amendment and is pleased to be a partner in cutting edge research effort to better understand how to safely deploy flammable refrigerants.”
The agreement calls for reduction of HFCs equivalent to 80b metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2047 and will thereby avoid almost a half degree C of global warming. Several ASHRAE members were among those attending the Protocol meetings. Among them were ASHRAE Presidential Member Jim Wolf and ASHRAE Director-at-Large Bill McQuade.
“The update of product safety standards and building codes to include A2L refrigerants is essential to the success of this agreement,” McQuade said. “The interest in our A2L research program by the parties was very high. In fact, several indicated to me interest in becoming a partner and funding additional research in the future.”
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 56,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at www.ashrae.org/news.