Kevin Fay is the Vice Chair and CEO of Alcalde & Fay, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy and lobbying firm, and Executive Director of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, an industry coalition working toward responsible, reasonable, and cost-effective ozone protection and climate change policies. He is an internationally recognized specialist on environmental and energy issues.
Host John Sheff is joined by guest Kevin Fay of Alcalde & Fay and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy (“The Alliance”) to discuss refrigerant transition both in the U.S. and globally. The conversation covers current protocols and recent legislation to reduce the use of HFC compounds and the challenges and opportunities for the U.S. HVACR industry.
- The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, adopted in 1987, helped reduced ozone depletion with a transition to HFCs, but it is now necessary to transition to a new generation of refrigerants.
- While transitioning from CFCs to HFCs resulted in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we now realize that we need to lower all greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane.
- The American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, passed in 2020, created a blueprint for the HVACR industry to follow to reduce HFC use by 85% over the next 15 years, in line with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol that is being implemented globally.
- This reduction is projected to lower global warming by half a degree by 2100.
- In addition to setting a schedule for HFC phasedown, the AIM Act is a blueprint for investment in the next generation of technologies, that are low global warming contributors.
- It is still important that the U.S. ratify the Kigali Amendment, as it will encourage investment in new technologies, create jobs, increase U.S. exports and maintain U.S. technology leadership in HVACR.
- Following Biden’s executive order, signed his first day in office, the State Department is preparing the package to send the Kigali Amendment to the Senate. It will need 67 votes to be ratified and the Alliance anticipates bipartisan support.
- The AIM Act implementation is underway as of October 1, with the goal of a 10% reduction in HFC supply in 2022 and a 40% HFC phasedown by 2024.
- This will be a challenge for the HVACR industry because of the lead times necessary to make the equipment transition and get approval within the building codes and standards process to install the equipment that uses low-GWP substances.
- The 2024 goal is a meaningful step and requires the HVACR industry to do things better, such as boosting reclaim of older materials and continuing to innovate.
- The single largest source of HFC emissions is from leaks, service or repair. These are all areas for improvement and require more attention to detail within the service sector, distribution networks and OEMs.
- Now that the global community has recognized the importance of air conditioning technologies, the future focus will be on access and energy efficiency.
- With the market for A/C and refrigeration technologies projected to double in the next decade, the industry has an opportunity to expand, but will need to increase cooling with less energy consumption.
- With more focus on refrigeration, food waste is becoming a global concern. A better cold chain could cut food waste in half. The Alliance is working on the expansion of a sustainable food chain around the globe, which would benefit not only food but also vaccine supply.
- Expect the next 10-20 years to bring a lot of innovation to provide sustainable solutions around the world.
Learn more about the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy and the work they do.
Learn more about the AIM Act.
Read more about the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment.
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For more information and additional episodes of the EnVisioneering Exchange podcast, visit https://www.danfoss.com/en-us/about-danfoss/insights-for-tomorrow/envisioneering-exchange/