US to cut climate-damaging HFCs

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalising a rule to ban certain chemicals which contribute to climate change. They want to encourage more climate-friendly alternatives and reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons […]

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalising a rule to ban certain chemicals which contribute to climate change.

They want to encourage more climate-friendly alternatives and reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

HFCs are a class of potent greenhouse gases used in air-conditioning, refrigeration and other equipment.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said: “It is in line with the steps leading businesses are already taking to reduce and replace HFCs with safer, climate-friendly alternatives.

“This rule will not only reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions but also encourage greater use and development of the next generation of safer HFC alternatives.”

In the US, HFC emissions are expected to nearly double by 2020 and triple by 2030 but new technologies and climate-friendly refrigerants can significantly reduce these emission increases, according to the EPA.

It estimates the new rule will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million to 64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025 – equivalent to the carbon emissions from the annual energy use of more than 5.8 million homes.