The federal government’s emissions pricing scheme will drive down the use of gases that have more than a thousand times greater impact on global warming than carbon dioxide.
An awful lot of nonsense about nothing at all. Some of this dates to the absurd Montreal Protocol and some is the new and even more absurd Kyoto Protocol.
BUT some industry figures say authorities have taken little action against companies responsible for ongoing leakage of so-called synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs), such as hydrofluorocarbons (HCFs), used in everyday cooling equipment.
Carbon pricing, which began on July 1, is expected to push up costs and compel domestic companies to cut usage of such refrigerant gases linked by US environmental authorities to global warming.
One of the most common SGGs used by the refrigeration and air conditioning industry, HFC-134a, is 1300 times as potent as carbon dioxide, and HFC-404a, another commonly used refrigerant, is 3900 times as potent.
“It is common knowledge in the industry that these gases are leaked into the atmosphere at a high rate,” Tim Edwards of the Australian Refrigeration Association told AAP.
“That is part of the reason for the carbon tax – to include a levy on HFC refrigerants. The levy makes HFC more expensive and therefore encourages better leakage management.”
Under the carbon pricing regime, imported SGGs will attract a cost impact that reflects their global warming potential (GWP) on top of the current $23 per tonne carbon price, pushing up per kilogram prices by an initial 15-20 per cent.
Mr Edwards said companies would have an incentive to shift to refrigerants less damaging to the climate, such as ammonia, carbon dioxide itself and hydrocarbons.
But the local industry has been on notice to reduce HCF leakage since 1989, under the Montreal protocol and parallel Australian law.
It has been illegal to knowingly emit HFCs and other refrigerant gases since 2005.