If leaked or emitted into the atmosphere, the fluorocarbon refrigerant gas contained in most air conditioners and refrigerators can be extremely harmful to the environment. In particular, it can damage the Ozone Layer and contribute to global warming.
It is so serious in fact, that all 196 countries have signed an agreement called the Montreal Protocol, to agree to a world-wide phase out of ozone depleting substances.
The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) Licence scheme is the Australian Government's response to their obligations under the Montreal Protocol.
Did you know 1Kg of the commonly used refrigerant gas R410a, has the same greenhouse impact as two tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of running your car for six months!
That's why Australia has specific laws to help protect the environment and minimise any further damage to the atmosphere caused by refrigerant gas. And that is why the ARC Licence scheme is a vital to achieving a better quality environment for Australia.
Is it working?
Yes it is. In 2010 research from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand recorded that the size of the Ozone Hole is the smallest it has been in the past five years.
Then, in May 2011 this encouraging news was backed up by environmental scientists at Macquarie University in Sydney, who have produced data that suggests the Ozone Hole is now recovering.
Both findings are directly related to initiatives such as the Montreal Protocol – which was the catalyst for the ARC Licence scheme.