A new model is developing for comprehensive climate action in the U.S. as states take up the mantle of furthering climate policy, including regulation of compounds with a high global warming potential such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). In 2017, the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement on climate change, and a court ruling determined that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority under the Clean Air Act when it sought to regulate high-global warming potential chemicals such as HFCs under its Significant New Alternatives Policy Program (SNAP). As an outcome of this, in 2018, state governors and legislatures formed coalitions such as the United States Climate Alliance to work collaboratively towards a more sustainable future.
The United States Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 17 states that have committed themselves to taking strong action through executive orders, legislation and other local and regional efforts to make an impact on the global climate challenge. The alliance is focused on state-to-state cooperation to accelerate the deployment of climate solutions needed to help each achieve their climate goals. The states involved represent 40 percent of the U.S. population and $9 trillion of the U.S. economy. The alliance commits to implementing policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, with a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
Alliance states recently taking action on HFCs include:
During a single week in early September 2018, Connecticut, Maryland and New York all also announced their plans to phase down HFCs:
Several states have paired restrictions with incentives to drive innovation in the market for HFC alternatives in all applications. By 2030 at the latest – and in some cases, such as New York, by 2024 or earlier – states in the United States Climate Alliance have set an expectation that industry will work with regulators to make changes and meet substantial emission reduction goals. This fragmentation of the HFC regulatory environment within the U.S. poses a challenge to businesses seeking a single national standard to follow, but also opens up an opportunity for them to support state and local regulations with sustainable technologies that explore new ways to reduce emissions of potent greenhouse gases such as HFCs.
To support such efforts, 3M has a broad portfolio of Novec™ branded fluids that are sustainable alternatives to HFCs in applications such as fire suppression and solvent cleaning, among others. 3M™ Novec™ Fluids are not subject to regulatory phase downs or restrictions and combine exceptional performance with environmental sustainability and human safety. Contact 3M to learn more.