Leveraging the carbon market to incentivize the destruction of highly potent – yet often overlooked - greenhouse gases
Refrigerants made from synthetic chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), commonly found in air conditioners and refrigerators, are a greenhouse gas emissions source that requires urgent attention and action. As the world copes with rising temperatures by consuming more refrigerants, this problem will only grow. Scaling HFC refrigerant management should therefore be an immediate priority.
One of the largest sources of HFC emissions is the venting, or release, of gases from equipment during servicing or end-of-life activities. Venting occurs because there are insufficient incentives and a lack of infrastructure for refrigerant recovery, reuse, or disposal. This is an especially large problem in “Article 5” nations (so called due to their status in the UN’s Montreal Protocol treaty), where air conditioning usage is growing fastest but super-polluting refrigerant usage is decreasing slowest.
Voluntary carbon markets can provide the capital necessary to finance proper refrigerant management. Yet there is no internationally eligible standard or methodology for the recovery and destruction of HFCs.
In this publication, we build upon existing refrigerant destruction carbon credit methodologies for refrigerant disposal so that they also include HFCs as eligible substances (see the CC Lab's overview of existing refrigerant carbon credit methodologies here).
The documents available for download below are as follows:
A white paper explaining the need, context, and justification for an updated methodology. We believe that, with thoughtful requirements for documentation and chain of custody, the destruction of HFCs in Article 5 countries can generate high-quality carbon credits that are permanent, verifiable, and additional.
A draft methodology for the recovery and destruction of HFCs in Article 5 countries. Developed as a set of revisions to Verra methodology VM0016, this draft methodology is broadly applicable as a set of revisions to existing refrigerant destruction methodologies from all registries, or as a standalone methodology for HFC recovery and disposal.
A document summarizing the results of an initial peer review of the draft methodology, containing: 1) a first draft of the white paper, 2) expert comments on the first draft of the methodology and white paper, and 3) in-line responses to reviewer comments.
With this launch, we welcome further public comment and collaboration on the white paper and draft methodology.
Please submit written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure consideration in the next draft.