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Coalition urged to toughen stand on potent greenhouse gases

Carbon and Environment Daily (17 Sep, 2013): The Coalition should fix lax smokestack1(1)enforcement of rules on refrigerant gases, establish gas recovery schemes for used cars and appliances, and vigorously back moves to use the Montreal Protocol to phase them out, according to the refrigerants industry.

The view is shared by two refrigerant organisations that hold divergent views on the merits of a Coalition promise to abolish the carbon-price equivalent levy on synthetic greenhouse gases, which are widely used as refrigerants but are highly potent greenhouse gases.

The two organisations also hold different views on whether abolishing the carbon price would result in falls in the cost of refrigerants similar to the large price rises that occurred in mid-2012 (see related article).

According to Refrigerant Reclaim Australia (RRA) – the refrigerant industry organisation that administers the scheme to reclaim and destroy ozone-depleting refrigerants – repeal of the carbon price applied to refrigerants would be no loss.

A price might be a good way to deal with stack and tailpipe emissions, but “it’s not necessarily the ideal approach for a manufactured chemical”, RRA’s general manager, Michael Bennett, told CE Daily.

According to Bennett, there are three strategies that could help to reduce emissions of synthetic refrigerants – one of which is to “increase the level of enforcement of current regulation”.

There are “a whole host” of people who are currently not doing the right thing when working with refrigerants, he says.

Secondly, he says the Coalition Government should establish robust recycling schemes for end-of-life consumer durables that result in much greater recovery of gases, “in particular motor vehicles and split air-conditioning systems”.

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