Ozone-depleting refrigerants will be phased out by 2020 under new rules

The head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed a new rule limiting the production and consumption of four ozone-depleting hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs) – including the refrigerant HCFC-22. The ban will come into effect on 1 January 2015.

The EPA says that under the new rules production of HCFC-22 will be reduced to approximately 10,000 tonnes per year by 2015, then decreasing each year by about 2000 tonnes until final phase out in 2020. This will encourage a transition to non-ozone-depleting alternatives and greater recycling of existing HCFCs, the EPA says.

Last month, the Obama administration pushed for global phase-out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). New executive actions and private sector commitments were announced that aim to reduce global HFC consumption by the equivalent of 700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2025.