Private Governance Response to Climate Change: The Case of Refrigerants
34 NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT, Forthcoming
13 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2019
Date Written: February 19, 2019
Refrigerants are promising targets for private environmental governance initiatives. An unintended consequence of the 1987 Montreal Protocol was to increase demand for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent greenhouse gases. Global demand for air conditioning units and other refrigerant-using equipment is expected to increase steeply over the next several decades. HFC use is projected to increase as much as 20-fold by 2050, adding up to .1 degree Celsius of global average temperature rise. Government initiatives have targeted refrigerants at the international, national, and subnational levels, but given the limited prospects for major new government action in the near term, this article focuses on how private governance initiatives can fill the gap. Private initiatives are a promising option because refrigerant loss is often costly to corporations, universities, hospitals, and households, and private initiatives can harness a range of motivations to reduce refrigerant emissions even without the coercive force and resources of government.
Keywords: climate change, refrigerants, private governance, environment
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