Australia’s lax regulations towards the automotive industry have seen Australia transform into a dumping ground for cars pre-charged with HFC-134a gas which is banned across the EU and US. The Australian Government expects the gas (1400 times more potent than carbon dioxide) to be gradually phased out via the adoption of new automotive technology and has failed to put any bans in place.
“Automakers appear content to continue to supply models with older generations of refrigerants to any markets that permit HFCs, while making HFO-charged models available where they are required to by law,” as reported in Cold Hard Facts 2019 here.
Over-reliance on market mechanisms to correct failures creates externalities. Inaction from the government to address this issue via a direct ban on the ozone-depleting gas means that while the outlook for Australia to transition out of HFC-134a use by 2020 is positive, it remains an improbable achievement.
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