Legislation was officially passed in parliament yesterday to phasedown hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The legislative amendments are part of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act.

Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, said the phasedown which officially begins on January 1, 2018, is part of a target to achieve an 85 per cent reduction by 2036.

He said Australia co-chaired the negotiations in Kigali last year that led to a global agreement of all 197 parties to the Montreal Protocol to phasedown these potent gases.

It is estimated that the global phasedown will reduce emissions by up to 72 billion tonnes by 2050.

“Australia has a proud record of leadership in the Montreal Protocol, widely considered the world's most successful environmental protection agreement and the only one with universal acceptance,” Frydenberg said.

“The Coalition Government's early action on passing this legislation demonstrates our continued international leadership and will constitute a significant domestic emissions reduction of up to 80 million tonnes.

“The Bill will achieve these environmental outcomes at the same time as significantly cutting red tape, including reducing the number of businesses required to hold a licence by one third, halving the reporting obligations and reducing the number of invoices sent by 94 per cent.”

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers of Australia (AREMA) was the first industry group to welcome the passage of amendments.

AREMA president, Mark Padwick, said the Bill provides industry with the certainty it needs to deliver innovative products with a much smaller environmental cost.

“Manufacturers must contend with a range of issues when they select which refrigerant to use. They need to consider safety for the consumer, energy efficiency,cost, suitability and environmental impacts," he said.

“However, this level of certainty will allow industry to invest in new technologies that can deliver cooling even more efficiently and safely into the future.”

Padwick said the HVACR industry has a long and proud history of working closely with governments of all types to manage issues for the public good.

“We have acted decisively and effectively to repair the ozone hole and now we are taking further dramatic steps to improve our climate – but doing so in a way that allows industry to deliver the services the public needs and wants,” he said.

Established in 1967, AREMA represents 29 leading companies which either manufacture or import refrigeration and air conditioning equipment for Australians.

The refrigeration and air conditioning industry is regulated by two separate pieces of legislation:

• Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act; and

• Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act.

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