Regulations relating to environmental issues include refrigerant regulations and energy-saving regulations as well as environmental regulations such as hazardous substances regulations. And if history is any indication, regulations and policies that are first adopted by the remarkably environment-conscious European Union (EU) are either completely or at least partially incorporated by other regions. For example, refrigerant regulations introduced in stages by the EU targeting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have subsequently been embraced throughout the globe.
Trends of Worldwide Efforts
The Montreal Protocol specified CFC refrigerants, such as R11 and R12, as substances possessing exceedingly high ozone depletion potential (ODP). Consequently, these refrigerants became the first target for regulation and were fully abolished, even in developing countries, by 2010. Later, HCFC refrigerants, such as R22 and R123, were shown to have a negative impact on the ozone layer and became the next target for regulation. The phase-out deadline for HCFC refrigerants is scheduled for 2020 in developed countries and 2030 in developing countries. Currently, various countries are promoting replacement of HCFC refrigerants with HFC refrigerants including R410A and R134a, since these refrigerants have zero ODP.