The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced the release of a request for information (RFI) to aid in the development of an assessment report that analyses how to transition California’s economy, by sector, away from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and to alternatives with ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) and/or no GWP no later than 2035.
To achieve this aim, focus will be placed in how to maximize recovery and reclamation of high-GWP HFCs and increase the adoption of ultra-low-GWP and no-GWP alternatives.
California has been a leader in the U.S. in addressing HFC emissions through legislative and regulatory action. Recognizing the importance of reducing HFC emissions, the Legislature enacted SB 1383 in 2016 to specifically mandate a 40-percent reduction in HFC emissions below 2013 levels by 2030.
Despite current rules, California’s long-term climate mandates require CARB to take further actions to reduce HFC emissions and fight climate change. This RFI will help inform CARB staff in their completion of the assessment report.
In addition to mandating the assessment report, SB 1206 prohibits the sale of newly produced high-GWP HFCs. Starting in 2025, 2030 and 2033, newly produced HFCs with a GWP greater than 2200, 1500 and 750, respectively, are prohibited. SB 1206 requires the use of reclaimed HFCs to promote the recovery of HFCs, thereby preventing the release or leakage of high-GWP HFCs, and complementing the federal HFC phasedown implemented through the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. CARB has adopted various regulations to reduce HFC emissions such as the Refrigerant Management Program and GWP prohibitions on refrigeration, air-conditioning equipment and other end-use sectors among other measures.
California is therefore the second economy that is seeking to completely phase out F-gases. The European Union, through ambition led by the European Parliament, is also in the final stages of negotiations on the EU F-gas Regulation, which is likely to introduce bans on F-gases and a steeper phase down of HFCs.