Biden administration has already pledged to tackle climate change and the Environmental Protection Agency has taken the first steps towards a considerable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Their new target is to reduce the emissions of two dangerous greenhouse gases: methane and hydrofluorocarbons.
Methane is mainly emitted during natural gas extraction, while hydrofluorocarbons are used in refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. Both of them are many times more potent than carbon dioxide and dealing with them is critical to slowing the pace of global warming.
The new proposal follows through on a law Congress passed in December, approving a 15-year phase out of HFCs. The EPA now intends to decrease U.S. production and use of these gases by 85% over the next 15 years. The rule won wide support by the business community and is considered the most significant climate change law in at least a decade.
Specifically, it was supported by the National Association of Manufacturers, American Chemistry Council and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, which represents companies that make residential and commercial air conditioners, water heaters and commercial refrigeration equipment. Furthermore, large supermarket chains, such as Walmart and Whole Foods have pledged to phase out the chemicals in their operations.
As the EPA states, it will help promote American leadership in innovation and manufacturing of new climate-safe products and it is estimated that it would bring $284 billion in benefits between 2022-2050, while saving industry money with cheaper chemicals and more energy efficient equipment.
The new administration has shown its determination to bring back US on track with global goals and it’s more important than ever for companies to align with the latest local legislation and regulations for GHG emissions and sustainability.
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