October 20, 2016
Delegates from 197 countries a reached a landmark deal to phase-down use of the fastest growing greenhouse gases, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Rwanda. According to BBC News, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has declared this amendment “a major victory for the Earth” and a “monumental step forward, that addresses the needs of individual nations but will give us the opportunity to reduce the warming of the planet by an entire half a degree centigrade.” The new agreement has a three-stage approach, phasing down highly developed countries before developing countries.
At the United Nations conference in Rwanda, 197 nations agreed to drastically reduce their use of HFCs, potent greenhouse gases used in air conditioners, refrigerators and fire protection. HFCs were developed in the 1990s to replace halons and other ozone depleting substances. Although HFCs, such as FM-200™, are not ozone depleting, they have high global warming potentials (GWPs). The continued growth of HFCs would make them a major contributor to climate change, so nations decided to phase-down their production under the same treaty that dealt with halons, the 1989 Montreal Protocol.
October 18, 2016
More than 500 national and international companies and organizations, along with hundreds of sub-national governments are calling for an ambitious amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phasedown high global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The statement is bold – calling upon world leaders to amend the Montreal Protocol with an early HFC first reduction step and an HFC “freeze date that is as early as practicable.” In addition, signature companies declared their intent to “to work to reduce the use and emissions of high-global-warming-potential HFCs and transition over time to more sustainable alternatives in a manner that maintains or increases energy efficiency.”
On September 22, 2016, the United States hosted a gathering of 100 countries in New York to provide a boost of momentum to the upcoming international negotiations to adopt an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Countries agreed last November to “work within the Montreal Protocol to an HFC amendment in 2016,” and they have subsequently worked intensively during a series of negotiations this year toward consensus on the terms of such an amendment. Next month, countries will gather at the Montreal Protocol Meeting of the Parties in Rwanda for final negotiations on the amendment.
October 11, 2016
Previous 3M™ Novec™ Hot Topics have put the spotlight on global initiatives targeting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), from the F-Gas regulations in Europe to the global phasedown plans of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol and U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR).
Now, continuing to take aggressive action on HFCs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just issued the advanced version of its Final Rule 21 of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program - changing the listing status of certain HFCs used in refrigeration, air conditioning (AC) and foam blowing to unacceptable or acceptable subject to narrowed use restrictions.
September 20, 2016
Although halon production has been phased out for quite some time, there is still a substantial, aging installed base of halon. For a variety of reasons, system owners may be looking to replace their halon systems. For instance, some companies may be looking to reduce their footprint on the environment and others may be adapting to changes in the protected asset. And now’s a great time to make the switch from Halon. According to John Demeter, President of Wesco HMB, Inc., “Wesco has witnessed a dramatic increase in demand for recycled halon 1301 over the past year, which has led to more than a doubling of the price paid for recovered halon.” By recycling your halon you can offset the cost of your new fire suppression system and by choosing a non-hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) clean agent solution, you can avoid going through this process again.
HFCs, like halon, have been used for decades to protect valuable electronic and paper assets that would otherwise be destroyed by traditional water sprinkler fire protection, which is the reason HFCs emerged as an alternative when halons were phased out, until recently. HFCs themselves are now subject to global regulatory phase-down under the Montreal Protocol due to their high global working potentials (GWPs) and the availability of proven, more sustainable alternatives. So, when replacing your halon-based fire protection system, avoid HFCs, like FM-200™, and select a fire suppression solution that will stand the test of time and has a warranty to back it up – 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid.