Kigali Deal Aims to Reduce Refrigerant Emissions

The Kigali Deal addresses the rise of harmful refrigerants in the atmosphere, setting a course to reduce them worldwide to combat global warming.

What’s the Deal

The Kigali Deal recently made headlines as over 170 countries negotiated to reduce emissions of Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in a phase-down approach. HFC refrigerants have been used to in the HVAC industry to replace ozone depleting HCFC and CFC refrigerants that contributed to the infamous hole in the ozone layer, something the 1989 Montreal Protocol worked to address directly. Because of the Montreal Protocol HCFC and CFC levels in the atmosphere have stopped increasing, and are expected to dip below 1990 levels in the next fifteen years.

While HFC refrigerants do not deplete the ozone layer like the CFC and HCFC refrigerants they have replaced, they do contribute to global warming. They are still harmful when released into the atmosphere, lasting for years in the atmosphere and trapping heat. At the Rwandan capital 170 countries agreed to phase HFCs out of production. Developed countries will have to take action earlier, with the USA’s aim to reduce consumption of HFC refrigerants by 85% below 2011-2013 levels by 2036. This is contingent on enforcement by the Federal Government.

Our Impact

PAE will endeavor to phase HFC refrigerants out of the systems we design as replacements are made available by HVAC equipment manufacturers.

Commercial buildings and their systems are significant contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When considering a building’s environmental impact, the issue is not how much energy a building uses, but instead how much greenhouse gas it emits due to the used energy. PAE recently developed a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis (GGEA) Calculator to help evaluate individual buildings and projects. This analysis allows us to incorporate GHG emissions (which HFC refrigerants contribute to) into our assessment of sustainable designs. Through our energy analysis and modeling work we can help building owners and developers reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions in new spaces, minimizing their environmental impact.

PAE is committed to decreasing the environmental impact of the buildings systems we design. Contact us today to find out how we can help you improve the sustainability of your project.