The United Kingdom yesterday began the process of ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which phases down emissions of HFCs.
In a demonstration of its continued commitment to tackling greenhouse gases, the United Kingdom yesterday began the process of ratifying 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 UK becomes one of the first nations to commit to the new greenhouse gas limits enshrined in the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, agreed in the Rwandan capital last year.
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).
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said adopting these targets marked the UK as a “world leader” in tackling climate change.
“Not only will this deal reduce global carbon emissions by the equivalent of around 70 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2050 – the same as 600 coal fired power stations would produce during that time – it will also help to protect our health, our agriculture and the wider environment,” 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 around 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.).
“Adopting this ambitious target will mark the UK as a world leader in tackling climate change.”
– 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.
“As far as participation in the EU’s F-Gas Regulation is concerned, I think the uncertainty might be in the allocation of production quotas,” Paul Arrowsmith, refrigeration design manager in the property department of Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd., a leading UK retailer, told this website.
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.