A significant reduction in refrigerant use by refrigeration and air conditioning technicians has helped to heal the ozone layer and reduce global warming, according to a recently released report by the United Nations.
The report Environmental Effects Assessment Panel: Summary update 2020 for policymakers found that the Montreal Protocol is not only healing the ozone layer, but has reduced global warming.
The Montreal Protocol is an international environmental agreement between 197 countries which was the catalyst for the Australian Government to introduce the ARCTick licence scheme back in 2005.
The scheme controls the purchase and use of refrigerants which are ozone depleting and synthetic greenhouse gases by ensuring only qualified professionals can work on systems containing these gases. It is managed by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC).
The report found the continued control of ozone depleting gases will avoid approximately 25 per cent of the global warming that was projected to occur by 2050.
As far back as 2017 the UN recognised the refrigeration and air conditioning industry was contributing to the health of the ozone layer.
The Australian Government’s ‘State of the Environment Report’ found the work of ARC-licensed businesses and technicians has led to a reduction of 24.37 Megatonnes of CO2-e direct emissions.
ARC CEO, Glenn Evans, said the ARCTick licence scheme will continue to provide significant direct and indirect emissions savings over the next two decades, with further direct emissions reductions estimated at 58.02 Mt CO2 projected through to 2030.*
“Whatever way you slice it, licensed technicians are making a positive difference to the environment and the world, and that’s something which we can all be very proud,” he said.
“RAC technicians’ greatest repair job just might just be the ozone layer.”
Refrigerants Australia executive director, Greg Picker said the transition to more climate-friendly refrigerants by RAC technicians has positively impacted the environment.
At the same time, he said RAC equipment today is 60 per cent more efficient that it was at the start of the millennium.
Globally, the biggest shift in climate policy in recent weeks has been a commitment by the United States to commit to the Kigali Amendment.
The Kigali Amendment is a global pact under the Montreal Protocol to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Newly elected US president Joe Biden signed an executive order in his first week in office committing to Kigali.
The president’s quick action on Kigali sends a powerful signal to the world that the US will join the global effort to cut reliance on these high-polluting gases.
*Expert Group, Assessment of environmental impacts from the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989, April 2015.