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The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has introduced new rules to reduce HFC emissions to 40 per cent below 2013 levels by 2030. 

The new rules are the first in the United States to enact comprehensive measures to ban many HFCs in new equipment.

It will affect commercial and industrial, stationary refrigeration units, as well as commercial and residential air conditioning units. 

From 2022, supermarkets will be allowed to only purchase systems using refrigerants with a GWP less than 150. Supermarkets will also have to meet benchmarks for reducing their refrigerant footprint in existing stores by more than half by 2030.

The intent of the new rules is to eliminate the use of very high-GWP refrigerants in every sector that uses non-residential refrigeration systems. Compliance begins for most home air conditioning equipment in 2025.

Prior to 2018, California was the only state that regulated HFCs. Sixteen other states have now passed legislation, based on California’s rules, or are in the process of doing so.

The rules also signal the beginning of the first refrigerant recycling program to put responsibility for compliance with manufacturers. 

CARB says it will now move forward immediately with a new rulemaking limiting purchase or use of new high GWP refrigerant, and a partnership with other states and the federal government to design a national program. California will then work towards 100 per cent refrigerant recovery and recycling.

 

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