The United Kingdom yesterday ratified the landmark Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on phasing down HFCs.
The United Kingdom yesterday (14 November) reaffirmed its commitment to tackling greenhouse gases by becoming one of the first countries to complete ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which phases down emissions of HFCs from HVAC&R equipment such as fridges, air conditioners and other appliances.
The Kigali Amendment – which is legally binding on all 197 Parties to the Montreal Protocol – sees developed countries including the UK take the lead on phasing down HFCs, starting with a 10% reduction in 2019 and delivering an 85% cut in 2036 (compared to a 2011-2013 baseline).
“Adopting this ambitious target marks the UK as a world leader in tackling climate change,” said Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
“This deal will reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of around 70 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050 – the same as more than 600 coal fired power stations would produce during that time,” Gove said.
The UK, along with the rest of the EU, has already begun to phase down HFCs in accordance with the EU F-Gas Regulation, which requires a cut of 79% in HFCs placed on the EU market between 2015 and 2030.
The Montreal Protocol will result in an additional UK reduction of equivalent to 44 million tonnes of carbon dioxide beyond what would be achieved under the EU F-Gas Regulation alone. The value of that carbon saving is estimated at around £1.56 billion (€1.7 bn.) and the cost at around £390 million (€426 bn.), representing a net benefit to the UK of £1.17 billion (€1.28 bn.).
“The Montreal Protocol will result in an additional UK reduction equivalent to around 44 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.”
– Environment Secretary Michael Gove
The shadow of Brexit
The United Kingdom is poised to leave the European Union in March 2019 following a referendum held in June 2016. It remains unclear what impact the decision will have on UK environmental policy – and the HFC phase-down – in the long term.
Jane Gartshore, a well-known figure on the British HVAC&R scene and a former president of the UK‘s Institute of Refrigeration (IoR), told this website that she was uncertain how EU regulation would apply in the UK in future, particularly for the refrigeration industry, which is currently governed by various EU directives such as the Pressure Equipment Directive.
She nonetheless expressed confidence that the UK would continue to apply the F-Gas Regulation, which has already been transposed into UK law – adding that the f-gas phase-down was being driven by end users as much as by regulation.