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Search, Reuse, and Destroy: How States Can Take the Lead on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem

Preventing emissions of fluorinated refrigerants such as HFCs from “F-gas banks” is the single biggest near-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. The IPCC special report on limiting global warming to within 1.5˚C also underlined need for faster and deeper HFC emission reductions beyond those anticipated under full implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

Search, Reuse, and Destroy: How States Can Take the Lead on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem outlines policy approaches for U.S. states to take leadership on this major climate opportunity.

End-of-life emissions of refrigerants from retired equipment avoidable in the U.S. are estimated to be 75-80 million metric tons of CO2e annually, equivalent to emissions from 16 million cars. Recovery and destruction of refrigerant banks at end of life is a cost-effective mitigation strategy, costing less per ton than conservative measures for the U.S. social cost of carbon. Leaks are another major source of refrigerant emissions with an average supermarket refrigeration system leaking 25% of its total refrigerant charge annually, equivalent to 1,780 metric tons of CO2e, or emissions of nearly 400 passenger cars annually. As federal EPA regulations on refrigerant management are rolled back, U.S. States must act quickly and decisively to address refrigerant emissions through policies aimed at scaling up refrigerant management, recovery, reclamation, and destruction — a near-term, cost-effective approach that would have immediate and significant climate benefits.

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Recent Blog Posts

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Template: Letter of Support for EIA AIM Act Petition
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Interested organizations can submit a letter of support for EIA’s petition to EPA to restrict HFC uses under the AIM Act. Please download the attached template above to submit a letter to newberg.cindy@epa.gov.

Recent Press Releases

EPA Grants Petitions to Transition Technologies Away from HFCs
10/08/2021
Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded to a series of petitions requesting certain sectors be required to transition away from using most hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in newly manufactured products. EPA granted or partially granted multiple petitions, including the petition submitted by EIA that calls on EPA to replicate HFC regulations recently finalized in California. Other petitions submitted by the California Air Resources Board and other states, and the International Institute for Ammonia Refrigeration call for a similar approach.
Landmark EPA Climate Rulemaking Takes Aim at U.S. Phasedown of Super-Pollutant HFCs
09/23/2021
The Environmental Protection Agency has published a landmark new climate regulation to establish an allocation system to cap and begin phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the super pollutant greenhouse gases used mainly in cooling.

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.
Help us mitigate climate destroying gases
Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge