Backgrounder Article from  Environment and Climate Change Canada

Proposed regulations amending the ozone-depleting substances and halocarbon alternatives regulations

Environment and Climate Change Canada is proposing regulatory measures to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), powerful greenhouse gases (GHGs) increasingly used in commercial, industrial, and residential applications such as refrigeration, air-conditioning, foam insulation, and aerosols.

Although not ozone-depleting, HFCs are powerful GHGs, some with global-warming potentials thousands of times higher than carbon dioxide (CO2). Globally, HFCs are considered the fastest-growing GHGs in most of the world, increasing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year.

The proposed Regulations Amending The ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations (proposed Regulations) would phase down Canadian HFC consumption and would prohibit the manufacture and import of specific products that contain or are designed to contain HFCs, thereby avoiding future emissions of these powerful GHGs.

Phase down of consumption

The proposed phase down of the consumption of HFCs would apply only to HFCs and mixtures containing HFCs imported in bulk. (HFCs aren’t manufactured in Canada.) HFCs contained in pre-charged equipment, such as vehicle air-conditioning systems and refrigeration systems including domestic appliances, foam products, and aerosol products would not be included in the phase-down provisions and would be targeted by product-specific controls.

Controls on products

The proposed controls on products would prohibit the import and manufacture of specific products and equipment that contain or are designed to contain any HFC, or any blend that contains an HFC, with a global warming potential (GWP) greater than the regulatory limit.

The product-specific controls would apply to the refrigeration and air-conditioning, foam, and aerosols sectors. Unique GWP limits and prohibition dates would be applied to different product types within each sector.

Expected benefits

The proposed amendments would reduce Canada’s annual consumption of HFCs by 85 percent, by 2036, making a significant contribution in our fight against climate change.

By phasing down our HFC emissions, Canada will reduce future impacts caused by climate change by $6 billion. More specifically, by avoiding the global warming caused by HFCs, we will avoid the serious economic costs associated with phenomena such as sea-level rise, drought, and floods, among others.

Between 2018 and 2040, the proposed Regulations are expected to result in cumulative HFC-emission reductions of about 176 megatonnes CO2-equivalent, which would contribute to reductions needed to meet Canada’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.


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