The Turnbull Government has introduced legislation as part of its global leadership in reducing hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions.
The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Amendment Bill 2017 will allow Australia to phase-down HFC imports starting in 2018 and reach an 85 per cent reduction by 2036.
HFCs, which are powerful synthetic greenhouse gases widely used in refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers and insulating foam, contribute up to two per cent of our national carbon equivalent emissions.
Last year in Kigali, Rwanda, the world’s nations met and agreed to start a global phase-down of these potent gases under the Montreal Protocol. Australia co-chaired those important negotiations and has been a leader for many years in phasing down gases that are harmful to the atmosphere.
Globally the reduction in emissions are estimated to achieve up to 72 billion tonnes in carbon dioxide equivalent emission savings by 2050 or roughly one and a third times global annual emissions.
In addition to supporting a domestic HFC phase down from 1 January 2018, the Bill will streamline licensing, reporting and administration of existing legislation, significantly cutting red-tape.
The legislation will enable Australia to continue to contribute to global outcomes under the Montreal Protocol – one of the great international environmental success stories.
Thanks to global action under the Montreal Protocol the ozone layer is now expected to recover for most of the planet by the middle of this century and by around 2070 over Antarctica.
The amendments will ensure Australia continues to play a lead role in managing HFCs and ozone depleting substances.
Image via Pixabay.