This past week, Connecticut and Maryland announced that they would be joining New York and California in phasing out HFC refrigerants. The four states are taking the lead and hope to encourage others to follow suit in defiance of US government policy.
All four states will model their new regulations off of the previous EPA’s SNAP rules from 2015, which were dropped by the government of President Donald Trump.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York hoped to pick up the responsibility of climate leadership in the US in protest at what he called efforts by the Trump administration to roll back environmental protections and deny the impact of climate change.
Gov. Cuomo stated: “While the Trump administration denies climate change and rolls back efforts to protect our planet, New York is picking up the mantle of climate leadership and forging a path forward. We are taking action to begin the phase out of the use of hydrofluorocarbons, and I encourage other states to join with New York and California to combat dangerous HFCs. In New York we believe denial is not a life strategy, and we will continue to fight climate change to protect our economy, our planet, and our future.”
With Maryland and Connecticut now joining New York, California and Canada in calling for the phase-out of HFCs, it will help to drive the industry nationally and globally to phase out these pollutants. This will also benefit those U.S.-based businesses that produce the substitutes for HFCs.
With 3 states coming forward in the last week, it is likely that we will see more states join in the HFC phase-out. These states are all a part of the United States Climate Alliance. The United States Climate Alliance is a gathering of States and Territories that aim to uphold the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which the Trump Administration pulled the United States out of last summer.
While there are only seventeen States in this alliance, it’s the size of the states that’s important. Over forty percent of the United States population resides in these States and over forty-five percent of the US GDP comes from these States.
States in the alliance are:
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington
As more states follow suit, we will begin to phase out HFCs by default. If just under half of the country’s population are living in HFC phase down States, then it wouldn’t make sense for companies to continue using HFCs in newer applications. Why make two different models for different States if we can just make the switch and have one model in both States?
Several major HVAC and Refrigerant manufacturers have already announced their support for California’s HFC phase down law. If they are in favor, then we are inevitably going to see the end of HFC refrigerants in the United States.