Over the weekend, a treaty was approved that aims to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons, which provide the vehile through which heating and cooling are exchanged, in HVAC equipment and appliances starting in 2019. Makers of this equipment now face the daunting task of finding replacements. The Wall Street Journal reports:
A global pact to limit planet-warming emissions is likely to force manufacturers of air conditioners and refrigerators to consider passing the additional cost of alternative coolants to consumers.
Global envoys agreed on Saturday to phase out hydrofluorocarbons from cooling appliances beginning in 2019. Meeting in Rwanda, major emitters including the U.S., China and India agreed to aim for an 80% reduction in their use by 2045.
Alternative coolants exist to power window-unit air conditioners, commercial chillers and household refrigerators, but many are unapproved for use in the U.S. Some are flammable. Manufacturers will have to convince regulators the new compounds are safe before retooling production.