The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, has published version 2.0 of the Methodology for the Quantification, Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Reductions from the Destruction of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) and High-Global Warming Potential (GWP) Foam.
This methodology supports high-integrity projects that destroy extremely potent ODS and High-GWP foam, which are more harmful than CO2 for the climate. Version 1.0 of the ACR Methodology updated and expanded the California Air Resources Board (ARB) ODS Compliance Offset Protocol that was first adopted for use in the State’s cap-and-trade program in 2011 and was subsequently revised in 2014. ACR has now updated this methodology to version 2.0 and includes changes summarized in the “Version 2.0 Summary of Changes” provided below. Additional information on the methodology updates is also available in the “Version 2.0 Public Comments” and “Version 2.0 Peer Review Responses” provided below.
Chloroflourocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and High-GWP hydrochlorocarbons (HFCs) are used as coolants in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, propellants in aerosol sprays and medical devices, fire-suppressants, solvents, and foam blowing agents for the manufacture of insulation and noise reduction in buildings, appliances, coolers, marine applications and industrial pipe insulation. CFCs and HCFCs are classified as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) because they deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, and they have extremely high GWPs, ranging from 4,750 to 10,900 more potent than CO2. Many ODSs and HFCs are also “short-lived climate pollutants” (SLCPs) that trap heat at much higher rate (than their GWP-100 values) in the first few decades of release.
Under the Montreal Protocol, the production of CFC refrigerants in the U.S. is phased out and the production of HCFCs was also phased out starting 2020. Under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, phase down of production of HFCs has already begun in the US, Canada and other developed countries. However, the use of these ODS is not prohibited, and standard practice is to recycle the ODS for reuse. This practice leads to ODS leaking into the atmosphere at rates estimated by the EPA to be up to 25 percent annually.
The ACR Methodology provides a framework for the quantification, monitoring, reporting and verification of GHG gas emission reductions associated with the sourcing and destruction in the U.S. (including territories) and Canada of: 1) High global warming potential (GWP) ODS sourced from air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, medical aerosol applications, fire suppressants, and solvents; 2) High-GWP foam blowing agents that are extracted from insulation foam; and 3) Insulation foam that contains blowing agent(s) with high GWP.