Australian government publishes HFC emission review

AUSTRALIA – Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing HFC emissions by yesterday publishing the results of a government-sponsored review into the use of greenhouse gases and the ozone layer. The review, which was entitled the review of the ‘Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management’ programme, was originally launched by the Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt in May 2014, with an options paper later released after public consultation had indicated a ‘strong preference’ for a hardline stance on phasing down HFCs.


Following on from the government’s long-awaited decision, a legislative phase-down of HFC imports is set to be applied from January 2018 which aims to reduce HFC emissions by 85% by 2036.


The official document published yesterday reveals that the phase-down is in fact even more ambitious than the amendment proposal for a global HFC phase-down currently being discussed under the international Montreal Protocol framework. Yesterday’s proposal has a lower baseline, which reflects Australia’s current demand, and also features more frequent reduction steps.


The official document proudly boasts that “Australia will be a world leader in reducing HFC emissions, joining the United States, the European Union and Japan in taking early action to reduce HFC emissions.”


This proposal represents a huge, and somewhat unexpected, step forward for Australia, particularly given that the country currently has a conservative government. The government are confident that the new measures will serve to reduce HFC emissions by up to 80 Mt CO2 equivalent in the period leading up to 2030.


The Australian government has also announced its intention to introduce legislative amendments in order to implement new measures soon. It is expected that all of these measures will enter into force and start operating by January 2018.


The government has also promised to publish the full details of the review outcome shortly as it seeks to establish the country at the forefront of the drive to eliminate synthetic greenhouse gases across the world.


Full details of the report can be read here