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California Senator Introduces California Cooling Act

EIA and NASRC Applaud Proposal, Highlight Positive Outcomes of Incentive Program

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today state Senator Ricardo Lara introduced the California Cooling Act, a landmark proposal to reduce climate impacts of the cooling sector, which could lead to avoidance of 17 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent annually by 2030. EIA and NASRC applaud Senator Lara for introducing the bill, which directs the California Air Resources Board to move forward with additional regulations to reduce emissions of climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants; the bill also proposes a new incentive program to support California businesses and residents in transitioning to low-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. This comes in the wake of a recent federal court decision being appealed to the Supreme Court that rolls back federal regulations to reduce HFCs.

“California’s 2030 emission reduction targets require measures that go well beyond the existing federal framework,” said Christina Starr, EIA Climate Policy Analyst. “By pairing additional regulations with an incentive program, this bill provides both the carrot and the stick needed to rapidly reduce HFC emissions and serves as a potential blueprint for other states to follow.”

“HFCs are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in California as well as globally. The world recently agreed to a global phase-down of HFCs, but the U.S. market has lagged behind Europe and other regions in adopting alternative technologies,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA Climate Campaign Lead. “Implemented at the proper scale in a major state like California, these measures can help shift the entire U.S. cooling market and in doing so support the Kigali Amendment.”

California already has ambitious targets in place to reduce HFC emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The California Cooling Act outlines actions geared toward meeting these targets, in part by providing financial incentives for buying low-GWP cooling systems, which range from household appliances to large-scale systems such as supermarkets. The North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) and the EIA recognize the role of incentive programs in supporting the adoption of low-GWP refrigerants. Both NASRC and EIA believe the program would complement other regulatory efforts to accelerate emission reductions from HFC refrigerants while supporting energy efficiency gains, since many low-GWP alternatives outperform HFC systems.

“In order to be successful, it is critical for low-GWP regulations to go hand-in-hand with incentives or other financial mechanisms to reduce the burden on end-users. Equipment and technologies using low-GWP refrigerants still face many barriers,” said Danielle Wright, NASRC Executive Director. “This incentive program could act as a catalyst to drive dramatic market transformation not just in California but across the nation.”

Hearings on the bill will be scheduled beginning in late March or early April.

Contact*

NASRC: Danielle Wright, Executive Director, 503-869-4191, Danielle.Wright@nasrc.org

EIA: Lindsay Moran, Head of Communications, (202) 253-0006, lmoran@eia-global.org

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