The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled on 6 October 2023 new restrictions to significantly phase down the usage of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), aiming for a 40% reduction by 2024 and an ambitious 85% reduction by 2036. This move aligns with the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. It will limit new air conditioners and heat pumps to refrigerants with a GWP of 700 and supermarket systems to a GWP of 150.
Key measures include limiting the use of HFCs in sectors like refrigeration and air conditioning where alternative solutions exist and implementing a Global Warming Potential (GWP) limit for specific equipment categories. Further, the EPA encourages the management, reuse, and reduction of leaks while endorsing the recycling and reclamation of HFCs.
These efforts are anticipated to offer significant environmental and economic benefits, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and providing billions in savings for the industry and consumers. EPA’s decision marks a pivotal step in curbing climate impact, with experts praising the move towards sustainable alternatives.