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GLOBAL representatives of the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration industry have issued an open letter urging businesses and governments to recognise an act upon the environmental and safety risks associated with retrofitting equipment to non-approved refrigerants.

The document was forged at the recent Montreal Protocol talks in Vienna, signed by associations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States.

Below is the full text, which speaks for itself:

We, the following industry associations:

Brazilian Association of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Heating (ABRAVA)

Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI)

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association of Australia (AREMA)

China Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Industry Association (CRAA)

The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE)

European Committee of Air-Handling, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers (EUROVENT)

Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI)

The Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association (JRAIA)

Korea Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association (KRAIA)

1. REPRESENT manufacturers who are committed to a healthful environment and who produce more than 90% of the world’s heating and cooling equipment that is a cornerstone of modern society by providing comfortable, productive, and clean indoor environments, refrigeration for the global food chain, and safe and readily available medicines;

2. RECOGNISE that equipment manufacturers choose refrigerants as part of overall equipment design and that the choice of appropriate refrigerant can vary by application. We further understand that appropriate refrigerant choice needs to balance a broad range of issues, including: performance, energy efficiency, safety, longevity of equipment, ease of use, cost, environmental characteristics, and other attributes;

3. NOTE WITH GREAT CONCERN that there are increased safety and environmental risks associated with the use of refrigerants in refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment that are not specifically designed for their use;

4. CALL on the service industry to consider the above facts and to only use any refrigerant in equipment where approved by the original equipment manufacturer;

5. ENCOURAGE governments to work with industry to make the entire HVACR supply chain and the public aware of these cautions and if necessary to regulate and develop enforcement regimes.

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