6.8.4 Policies affecting non-CO2 gases
In the buildings sector, non-CO2 greenhouse gases (halocarbons) are used as the working fluid in most vapour-compression cooling equipment, and as a blowing agent in some insulation foams including polyurethane spray foam. Background in this report is in Section 6.4.15, which is in turn a brief summary of IPCC/TEAP (2005).
188.8.131.52 Stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump applications
A number of countries have established legislative and voluntary regimes to control emissions and use of fluorinated gases. In Europe, a number of countries have existing policies that aim at reducing leakage or discouraging the use of refrigerants containing fluorine. Regulations in the Netherlands minimize leakage rates through improved maintenance and regular inspection. Substantial taxes for refrigerants containing fluorine are levied in Scandinavian countries, and legislation in Luxembourg requires all new large cooling systems to use natural refrigerants (Harmelink et al., 2005). Some countries such as Denmark and Austria have banned the use of HFCs in selected air conditioning and refrigeration applications. In 2006 the EU Regulation 842/2006 entered into force, which requires that all medium and large stationary air conditioning applications in the EU will use certified and trained service personnel, and assures recovery of refrigerants at the end-of-life (Harmelink et al., 2005).
In the USA, it has been illegal under the Clean Air Act since 1995, to vent substitutes for CFC and HCFC refrigerants during maintenance, repair and disposal of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment (US EPA, 2006). Japan, has established a target to limit HFC, PFC and SF6 emissions. Measures to meet this target include voluntary action plans by industries, mandatory recovery systems for HFCs used as refrigerants (since April 2002) and the research and development of alternatives (UNFCCC, 2006). Australia has developed an Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act. Measures include supply controls though the licensing of importers, exporters and manufacturers of fluorinated gases and pre-charged refrigeration and air conditioning equipment; end-use regulations on handling, use, recovery, sale and reporting are in place (Australian Government, 2006). Canada has established a National Action Plan for the Environmental Control of ODS and their Halocarbon Alternatives (NAP). This ensures that HFCs are only used in applications where they replace ODS and requires recovery, recycling and reclamation for CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, 2001).