TURNBALL, Australia — The Australian government successfully passed legislation to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which comprise up to 2 percent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

The phasedown of HFC imports under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Amendment Bill 2017 will begin in 2018 and reach an 85 percent reduction by 2036. Australia co-chaired the negotiations in Kigali last year that led to a global agreement of all 197 parties to the Montreal Protocol to phase down these potent gases.

It is estimated that the global phasedown will reduce emissions by up to 72 billion tons by 2050 or roughly one and a third times global annual emissions. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), this action could avoid up to 0.5°F of temperature rises by 2100.

This phasedown builds on the successful approach taken to phase out prior gases, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which is already leading to a recovery of the ozone layer.

Australia has a proud record of leadership in the Montreal Protocol. The coalition government's early action on passing this legislation demonstrates continued international leadership and will constitute a significant domestic emissions reduction of up to 80 million tons.

The bill will achieve these environmental outcomes at the same time as significantly cutting red tape, including reducing the number of businesses required to hold a license by one third, halving the reporting obligations, and reducing the number of invoices sent by 94 percent.

Publication date: 7/5/2017

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