The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is applauding the decision of the Parties by the Montreal Protocol (MP) to work toward an amendment in 2016 to include hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants in the treaty's purview. The goal is to work toward a schedule to phasedown HFC use across the globe. AHRI says it has long supported including HFCs in the phasedown plan under the MP.

"Even as other MP signatories have debated the original North American Proposal to include HFCs, AHRI's member companies — including refrigerant producers and original equipment manufacturers — have been proactively researching potential alternatives to HFCs to ensure that air conditioning and refrigeration manufacturers have access to appropriate refrigerants," said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek.

AHRI, U.S. government agencies, and energy-efficiency advocacy groups have all worked to ensure a phasedown of these chemicals. Currently, AHRI is managing a research program, known as the Low-Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP), which has been underway since 2011. Subsequent to the results of the program, AHRI established a committee to investigate flammable refrigerants that are being considered as alternatives to high-GWP refrigerants such as HFCs.

"This is a revolutionary agreement and we are looking forward to being part of the process of developing an amendment in 2016," said Yurek.