- Environmental Protection Agency to introduce new rule to draw down the use of hydrofluorocarbons
- Rule is expected to significantly cut emissions of the potent greenhouse gas while also spurring savings and improving the competitive advantage of American manufacturers
- Department of Defense will soon seek proposals for HFC alternatives in applications unique to the military
Summary by Dirk Langeveld
The Biden administration has announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will introduce a rule aimed at drawing down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which it described as “superpollutants” that are a major contributor to climate change. The White House anticipates that the rule will also spur innovation, competitiveness, and monetary savings in the U.S. manufacturing industry.
HFCs are found in appliances and substances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and firefighting foams. They are considered a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
The White House describes the new rule as “one of the most impactful federal efforts to reduce climate pollution in decades.” It anticipates that it will phase down the production and consumption of HFCs by 85 percent below baseline levels within 15 years, with the reduction of 4.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent by 2050 – equal to almost three years of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by the U.S. power sector in 2019.
- The EPA will establish an allowance allocation and trading program to reduce HFCs, and will also create a compliance and enforcement system
- Six federal agencies are collaborating to prevent the illegal production, trade, use, and sale of HFCs; develop HFC alternatives, including research and development initiatives; and manage existing HFC stocks
- The Department of Defense will invest $8 million over five years to identify and evaluate HFC alternatives with low global warming potential for applications with performance requirements unique to the military; it will seek proposals for these applications for the 2023 fiscal year
- The Biden administration anticipates that the rule will help bolster innovation and competitiveness in manufacturing HFC alternatives, resulting in $272 billion in benefits for the manufacturing industry as well as significant compliance savings