The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers commended governments involved in the Montreal Protocol amendment, which introduces a global phase down of the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons.

The agreement was signed in October 2016 and calls for the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons equivalent to 80 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2047. Several ASHRAE members, such as director-at-large Bill McQuade, were in attendance at the protocol meetings.

“The update of product safety standards and building codes to include A2L refrigerants is essential to the success of this agreement,” McQuade said. “The interest in our A2L research program by the parties was very high. In fact, several indicated to me interest in becoming a partner and funding additional research in the near future.”

The move is part of a $5.8 million research program funded by ASHRAE, the Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the California Air Resources Board and Johnson Controls. The program is part of a global effort to phase down the use of high global warming potential refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons, and identify appropriate climate-friendly alternatives.

“Flammable refrigerants hold great promise for reducing the use of HFCs in refrigerants and thereby lowering the environmental impact of air conditioning and refrigeration systems,” said ASHRAE President Tim Wentz. “ASHRAE applauds the Kigali amendment and is pleased to be a partner in cutting-edge research effort to better understand how to safely deploy flammable refrigerants.”