The US just passed a law to restrict climate warming refrigerants. Here’s how it’s going to work.
- Jan 26, 2021 5:30 pm GMT
Buried in the 5593 page COVID relief and omnibus spending bill signed into law on December 27th, is the most significant piece of US national climate legislation in years. Titled the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, it restricts the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) chemicals, the most commonly used refrigerants in air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, freezers, and heat pump water heaters. To get a sense of the significance of this new law, we can turn to Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization that bills itself as the “world’s leading resource for climate solutions.” In a recent analysis, the organization ranked switching from HFCs to alternative refrigerants in the top-ten of its extensive list of 76 climate solutions. Furthermore, restricting HFC refrigerants is going to affect both the cost and efficiency with which we cool buildings, refrigerate food, increasingly heat water, and numerous other daily processes.
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