Recent US action on climate change policy has been the result of executive order. As we approach the US presidential election it is clear that a new administration will cause some chemicals to fare better than others depending on which candidate wins. In the case of hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs) we have a new class of refrigerants designed to be benign alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are accused of causing Global Warming. A Clinton administration will likely continue the policy trajectory established by President Obama and continue the phase outs of Global Warming chemicals such as HFCs and in turn usher in the replacement by HFOs and other chemicals with less Global Warming impacts. But a Trump victory will potentially rescind prior executive orders on Global Warming and may instead delay or even derail the future growth of HFOs in air conditioning and refrigeration. Consequently, the election outcome puts an additional layer of uncertainty: for HFO and HFC growth forecasts, the material resource planning for the entire supply chain feeding refrigerant production as well as causing uncertainty of the chemical requirements for appliance manufacturers of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.
Chemweek Article - Refrigerants ain’t what they used to be.