Well folks, the last big ball to drop has finally hit for HFCs. It’s only a matter of time now before they are phased out just as CFCs/HCFCs were. This Thursday India declared that they are in favor of phasing out HFC refrigerants and that they are in favor of adding an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that would regulate the phase out across the world.This was a huge development over the past few months as India was the biggest obstacle in getting HFC use banned.
One of India’s main reasons for resistance is that it was a developing nation and that it could not handle doing a mass transition away from HFCs. After-all, they had just finished a mass transition of CFCs to HFCs not too long ago. Now the world is telling them that HFCs are bad too and that they need to switch away from those as well. As a compromise with the rest of the world India declared that they would be in favor of phasing out HFCs but only if a fifteen-twenty year timeline comes into play. This would give India enough time to transition their infrastructure to accommodate the new alternative refrigerants.
This is very similar to the deal that was struck with China in late 2014. China agreed to phase out HFCs as well but only after twenty-five years of preparation. While the western governments hail this as progress it seems that they are getting the short end of the stick. We make all of these immediate promises to China/India and yet they do not deliver anything on their side until fifteen to twenty years later. Who is going to hold India or China to these promises when the time comes? We’ll see how this pans out.
Now, nothing officially has happened yet, but the world governments will meet in November for an annual climate meeting. In this meeting the amendment to the Montreal Protocol to ban HFCs will be introduced to the body. At this point with all of these new developments I see no reason why it will not pass. The only opposition that I am aware is Saudi Arabia and some other small middle eastern countries, but they have not had much of an impact in the past and I do not foresee them stalling any possible changes. Once it is passed the phase out of HFCs will be scheduled over the coming years. I predict R-134a being the first to be phased out, then R-404A, and R-410A last.
I found most of this info from The Times of India website.