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Tip of the Iceberg: Implications of Illegal CFC Production and Use

Just six months after scientists revealed unexpected and high emissions of CFC-11 and EIA investigations promptly provided evidence of illegal use of CFC-11 in China’s polyurethane (PU) foam insulation sector, much has been done to address this enormous environmental crime. China has responded with an unprecedented nationwide enforcement action and has shut down at least one illegal CFC-11 production factory. The Parties to the Montreal Protocol unanimously responded at OEWG-40 to the crisis and will agree vital next steps at the 30th Meeting of the Parties in Quito, Ecuador. This is an opportunity for the Montreal Protocol to take action not just to solve the CFC-11 problem, but to ensure a compliance and enforcement regime robust enough to effectively implement all its decisions. This is a critical time: the Kigali Amendment comes into force in 2019, and major cuts in HCFCs are now occurring in developing countries, setting the scene for increased illegal trade as prices rise and supply runs out.

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Recent Blog Posts

Major Climate Win: Lessons for the Montreal Protocol
02/10/2021
Two new papers published in Nature suggest that the CFC-11 emissions are back on a downward trajectory potentially avoiding substantial delays in the recovery of the ozone layer. The papers show an accelerated decline in global atmospheric concentrations of CFC-11 from 2018 to 2019, and attribute 60% of the decline to China. This is a huge win for the ozone layer and our climate, which would not have been possible without a concerted global response to the findings from the ground and the atmosphere.
The AIM Act: Your Questions on U.S. HFC Legislation – Answered
01/07/2021
A new year’s gift for our climate came wrapped in the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress at the end of 2020. Among the bill’s several significant climate provisions is the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, or AIM Act, that enacts a phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Recent Reports

Leaking Havoc: Exposing Your Supermarket’s Invisible Climate Pollution
02/15/2021
An EIA investigation into dozens of supermarkets in the greater Washington, D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland, found a majority of stores to be leaking super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants
LETTER: EIA, IIAR and over 120 Stakeholders Call on California to Require Climate-Friendly Cooling in Ice Rinks
12/10/2020
EIA and the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) joined by over 120 other stakeholders, submitted a letter to the California Air Resources Board calling to limit refrigerants in new ice rink refrigeration systems to under a 150 global warming potential (GWP).

Recent Press Releases

Leaking Havoc
02/15/2021
An EIA investigation into dozens of supermarkets in the greater Washington, D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland, found a majority of stores to be leaking super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants
U.S. Congress Passes Bipartisan HFC Legislation
12/23/2020
Legislation passed by the U.S. Congress this week to provide COVID relief and fund the U.S. government includes a bipartisan climate agreement to phase-down production and consumption of super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). The bill authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the 2016 agreement to phase down HFCs under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and provides broader authority to manage existing sources of HFC emissions.

Recent Videos

Leaking Havoc: Exposing Your Supermarket’s Invisible Climate Pollution
02/15/2021
An EIA investigation into dozens of supermarkets in the greater Washington, D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland, found a majority of stores to be leaking super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants
What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.
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Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge