September 23, 2014 – New York City – Environment Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to taking action to protect the environment. That is why, today, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced during Canada's National Statement at the United Nations Climate Summit that Canada will publish a Notice of Intent to regulate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Regulating HFCs will enable Canada to reduce and limit potent greenhouse gas emissions which, if left unregulated, are expected to increase substantially in the next 10 to 15 years.
The Notice of Intent will outline the proposed scope of the regulatory measures for HFCs and timelines for stakeholder consultations. Building on our successful approach of integrating with our largest trading partner, the regulations will align with recently proposed United States regulations on HFCs. The regulations will apply to HFCs in bulk and to certain manufactured products containing HFCs.
HFCs are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs), making them a concern for the climate. HFCs are not manufactured in Canada, but are imported in bulk and are used in manufactured products. The projected rise in the use of HFCs in the coming decades can be largely attributed to the sustained growth in demand for refrigeration, air-conditioning, and insulating foam products.
For the last five years, Canada, in partnership with the United States and Mexico, has advocated to amend the Montreal Protocol to include a phase-down of HFCs. While the Proposal has not yet been adopted by the international community, Canada is committed to addressing HFCs and their serious implications for our climate.
Today's announcement during the United Nations Climate Summit demonstrates significant international leadership on the part of Canada. Taking regulatory action on HFCs will reduce and limit GHG emission growth in the short and long term, which means a cleaner and healthier environment for Canadians. Internationally, Canada continues to advocate for a global agreement to phase down HFCs.
- HFCs are man-made chemicals introduced into the global market to replace ozone‑depleting substances being phased-out under the Montreal Protocol. HFCs are used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems, foam insulation (e.g., construction materials) and in aerosol applications.
- HFCs are not ozone-depleting, but are powerful GHGs.
- Emission reductions resulting from the regulation of HFCs will help to protect Canadians from the effects of climate change.
- HFCs are among the strongest GHGs and some HFCs are up to 14,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
- HFCs currently only account for about one per cent (1%) of GHG global emissions, but are the fastest growing GHG in the world, increasing at a rate of 10 to 15 per cent (10-15%) per year. If no immediate action is taken, HFCs could rise up to 19 per cent (19%) of GHG emissions by 2050.
“Our Government is once again taking action to address climate change. We have already taken action on some of the largest sources of emissions in this country, the transportation and electricity generation sectors, and today, building on our record, we are proud to announce that Canada will be taking pre-emptive action to reduce and limit harmful HFC emissions, before they increase.”
– The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council
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