The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, announced today the approval of a methodology for the measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions from the use of certified reclaimed hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants and advanced refrigeration systems. The methodology was developed by EOS Climate, with financial support provided by A-Gas Americas, Hudson Technologies and Diversified Pure Chem.
Under the Montreal Protocol to Protect the Stratospheric Ozone Layer, all nations ended production of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants. A phasedown in production of, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) is also underway and in the U.S. is more than 90% complete.
Developed as “ozone-friendly” alternatives, HFC refrigerants are powerful greenhouse gases when released to the atmosphere. Pound for pound, HFCs have global warming potentials (GWPs) up to 4000 times higher than carbon dioxide (CO2). Unless bold action is taken to limit their production and use, HFC emissions are expected to nearly triple in the U.S. by 2030. The new ACR offset methodology incentivizes GHG emissions reductions through the re-use of certified reclaimed HFC refrigerants and deployment of advanced low-GWP commercial refrigeration technologies.
“This is a major milestone in our ongoing efforts to deliver market-based solutions addressing global climate impacts of carbon-intensive chemicals and other commodities,” said Jeff Cohen, Senior Vice President at EOS Climate. “Through the new ACR methodology, industry leaders across the refrigerant value chain – service technicians, refrigerant suppliers and producers, equipment manufacturers, and the wide range of refrigerant end-users such as commercial building owners, hotels, supermarkets, car makers, and municipalities, now have an additional tool to strengthen their carbon reduction strategies.”
A groundbreaking industry collaboration to leverage the new ACR methodology was announced at a White House event last week. The collaboration, involving EOS Climate, The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, The Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Association (ACCA), Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) and The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) will develop and implement a Reclaimed HFC Credit Bank as a component of the Global Refrigerant Management Initiative (GRMI) – GRMI is targeting reductions in global HFC emissions by 30 to 50 percent in 10 years.
The new methodology is part of a continuum of market-based solutions targeting fluorochemicals, notably an ODS Destruction Protocol, also originated by EOS Climate and an important part of California’s cap-and-trade market. The new industry effort complements domestic regulations including California’s Refrigerant Management Program, U.S. EPA’s SNAP program and the recently proposed extension of federal regulations issued under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act.
“American Carbon Registry is extremely pleased to announce the approval of this first-of-a-kind methodology, which we hope will stimulate large-scale emissions reductions from HFC production and use,” said John Kadyszewski, American Carbon Registry Director. “We look forward to working with companies as they implement their HFC reduction strategies.”