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Honeywell to Destroy Ozone-Depleting Refrigerants for 125,000 Tons of Carbon Credits

Honeywell has begun destroying inventories of certain ozone-depleting refrigerants and selling the resulting emission reduction credits for use in California’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, the company announced.

The company said it has destroyed more than 27,000 pounds of CFC-11, a chlorofluorocarbon refrigerant with one of the highest ozone-depleting potentials, and it plans to destroy its remaining inventory of CFC-11, CFC-12 and R-500 refrigerants this year – for an equivalent of 125,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Strategic marketing director for Honeywell Fluorine Products Jeffrey Ballew said that the company chose to destroy the inventory rather that to sell it for use elsewhere in legal markets. According to the Honeywell website, the company stopped U.S. production of CFCs in 1995 in accordance with EPA regulations.

Honeywell said that it expects to offset the cost of destroying the refrigerants with an estimated 125,000 Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRTs) that it can sell to third parties who need credits for California’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.

The refrigerants were destroyed following protocols developed by the Climate Action Reserve, a national offsets program that sets standards for greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects. MGM Innova Consulting was brought in to ensure the materials were destroyed in compliance with the Climate Action Reserve’s protocols, and the results were verified by TUV-SUD, a third-party auditing firm, Honeywell said.

Yesterday Thomson Reuters Point Carbon forecast that offset supply will be the main long-term allowance price driver after California and Quebec link their emissions trading programs next year to form the Western Climate Initiative single carbon market. But while offsets can be used to cover eight percent of emissions in the program, Point Carbon estimates that under current market regulations, only about one-third of that offset quota will be met through 2020.

In January it predicted that carbon trading in North America will double this year as California and Quebec’s individual markets start up.

In September, Honeywell was included on the list of largest non-responding companies to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s 2011 annual carbon performance and disclosure ratings.

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2 thoughts on “Honeywell to Destroy Ozone-Depleting Refrigerants for 125,000 Tons of Carbon Credits

  1. I don’t know the answer to the question about ozone replenishment via aircraft – but I suspect the answer is probably ‘no’.
    The reason ozone is naturally present in the stratosphere is that it is continually produced by sunlight reacting with oxygen molecules. And the reason there is still a deficit of ozone compared to pre-industrial levels; is primarily due to these refrigerant chemicals drifting up into the stratosphere and acting as a chemical catalyst to speed the destruction of ozone (which is also naturally removed by other processes). So the present amount of ozone represents the dynamic balance between these creation and destruction processes (just as the pre-industrial amount of stratospheric ozone was a balance between just the natural competing processes). Since it’s a dynamic balance, ozone from aircraft would have to be continually replaced as it is destroyed.
    That probably adds up to alot of aircraft, flying lots of missions over a decades-long interval (before most of the remaining refrigerant chemicals get naturally removed from the stratosphere and the natural mechanisms are the only ones left).

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